ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, Tuesday, March 12, 1991.


By Charles Seabrook
Staff writer

       Northside Hospital will pay $22.8 million to a boy
severely injured in a circumcision accident at the hospital
nearly six years ago, attorneys for the child said Monday.

       However, Northside spokeswoman Karen Koch denied that
a final settlement had been reached and declined to comment further.

       The child, who is not 5 years old, had his penis
severely burned in a mishap in August 1985.  His attorneys
said he will never be able to function sexually as a normal
male and will require extensive reconstructive surgery and
psychological counseling as well as lifelong urological care
and treatment by infectious disease specialists.

       A second infant who underwent a circumcision at
Northside on the same day also was severely injured.  That
child, known as "Baby Doe" underwent a sex-change operation
shortly after the accident, and "consequently is now a
female person, who has been rendered sterile and completely
incapable of reproduction," said a lawsuit filed in the
child's behalf.  That lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed
amount, Northside officials said.

       Thomas G. Sampson, attorney for the first child,
named Antonio, said Northside has agreed to pay the child
$22.8 million in several installments over the next several years.

       Mr. Sampson said he did not know why Northside has
denied that the case has been settled.

       "It's settled, I can guarantee you that,' said Mr.
Sampson, who added that the settlement was approved Friday
in DeKalb County Probate Court.

       The settlement is one of the largest even in a
medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia, he said.  The
parents of the child already had settled with the doctor who
performed the circumcision, and Mr. Sampson said the total
amount of money in the case is in excess of $23.8 million.

       The circumcision occurred at the hospital on the day
the boy was born.  Mr. Sampson and fellow attorneys alleged
violations of hospital protocol and the use of inappropriate
equipment for the circumcision.

       The hospital's usual equipment for circumcision was
out of service the day the infant was born, and doctors
instead used an electrosurgical unit  "that was
contraindicated for use" in infant circumcisions, the
lawsuit alleged.

       Antonio already has undergone several operations, and
a series of reconstructive operations, now under way, are
expected to continue for at least nine years. until he is 15
years old, his attorneys said.

       The circumcision injuries attracted nationwide
attention, and prompted new studies to determine the
benefits and disadvantages of circumcision.  The studies
indicate that the advantages outweigh the risks.
Circumcised males have less incidence of urinary tract
infections and penile cancer, the studies found.

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, Tuesday, March 12, 1991.

(Transcribed by George Hill,

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