Toddler Dies Following Routine Circumcision At NYC Hospital

Family: He Was Given General Anesthetic Instead Of Local

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A devastated Brooklyn family was demanding answers Thursday after a toddler died following a routine circumcision.

Jamaal Coleson Jr., who would have turned 2 next month, died on Tuesday, hours after undergoing the medical procedure at Beth Israel Medical Center.

The boy’s family told CBS 2 the young child was given a general anesthetic instead of a local.

The New York State Department of Health is now investigating the case.

The hospital said it is also conducting its own internal review.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • be straight

    I love when the public thinks they know stuff. its infuriating

  • back summers

    This is incorrect reporting of facts, false journalism, and I’m sorry but trust me on this I know. and shame on everyone for thinking that what they are reading here is the truth – I should hope someone from this site gets the facts and appropriately reports them. Its trully shamefull.

  • Mike land

    Is it affiliated with HCA? IF so, then RUN!

    • b summers

      You guys should be ashammed of yourselves for missreporting facts this is completely wrong – your false journalism is shameful – get your facts right ! why don’t you find out what REALLY happened!!!!

    • Jill L.

      So glad I did not risk my son’s life over something completely unnecessary.

  • Mia

    They made my son wait till he was a year old. Asked me questions like are you jewish? Why do you want this done? Also commented that it wasn’t necessary. I guess they figured I would not bring him back in a year. I had to literally threaten them with their jobs. I was in the military at the time, at a naval hospital.

    • Crocker

      They didn’t make your son wait. They made YOU wait. Why not wait until your son can MAKE UP HIS OWN MIND?

    • beth

      “Made him wait” ? Like he was just eagerly counting the days until his delicates were sliced, yeah.

      • Crocker

        Exactly. It’s not like the kid had any choice in the matter.

  • Possibly...?

    Malignant Hyperthermia Susceptibility…Google it.

    • joe


  • Peter

    Why does everyone assume it’s a mistake? It’s a known fact that general anesthesia carries a risk–a small but real percentage of patients undergoing general anesthesia die. And that often happens even when everything is done perfectly. Some people are allergic, some people respond differently than others to the drugs. That would have been explained in writing in the consent form the parents had to sign–by signing, they agreed to that risk (I’d certainly never agree to general for me or my child if local were an option). All the risks should have also been explained verbally to make double sure they understood.

    The coroner should investigate to see if anything was done improperly–not only to assign responsibility if any but most importantly so that if there is a problem it can be fixed before anyone else is put at unnecessary risk–but it may be that there was no error at all. Sadly, a fact of life is that people die, and it isn’t always someone’s fault.

    • Paula

      Maybe because this procedure is normally performed using a local anesthetic not a general anesthetic in order to avoid the complications of a local. You are right that there is a risk with a general, but the medical malpractice in this case would be because the medical staff did not follow standard medical practice with this case. It would be like using a general anesthetic for putting in a couple stitches for a small cut.

      • Jodie

        I had to have my son done at six due to the fact that he needed it for medical reasons. They do it under a local at birth, or within the first week. After that they do it under a general anesthetic as it is far more complicated and is an actual surgery at that point. I work at a hospital…..this is standard practice.

  • Beth

    Why on earth would anyone do this to a kid at age 2! It should be done at birth or not at all!

    • Crocker

      It should not be done at all. It is totally unnecessary procedure and the reasons for it are outdated and based on religion, not medical need. Time to get with the times and stop mutilating our kids. Let them decide when they are old enough to make up THEIR OWN MIND.

      • Ed

        Making decisions for your children is what parenting is all about. You do what is best for your children based on what your beliefs are, end of debate.

        People like Crocker simply don’t have the necessary mental capacity to understand this very basic concept in parenting.

      • rick m

        Actually, there are many reason to get it done, personal hygeine and reduced chance of infection are the biggest. Uneducated folks liek Crocker often spout off without knowing the facts.

    • Rob Uwish

      Because something when it is done at birth it is not done right !! LIke my 3 year olds case !! I will however wait until he is 5 or 6 to have it re done !

      • ChelC

        You should wait until HE can make the decision on whether or not HE wants such sharp instruments around such a sensative area. YOU oughtn’t be making such a life-long decision for someone who cannot speak for themselves.

      • jdaniels

        My son’s fused on one side after it was done at birth, I was able to have it fixed when he was four, it was a very simple surgery but he was put under for it. The whole thing took about 30 minutes and he was sore for a few days afterward, I would say definitely get it fixed as soon as possible it seems that after five they have less tolerance for pain, at least that’s what I’ve gleand from asking others! Good luck!

    • burt

      God commands it to show the difference between his people and the rest of the lost world.

      • Crocker

        Fools like you are the reason these mutilations continue. Sacrifice any goats lately?

        • Jeff

          Been to Church lately?

    • I Love MY Kids

      Why? Because it doesnt hurt at birth?

      • Kirsten

        It shouldn’t be done at all. Its unnecessary and barbaric. To put a small child or baby through such agony is unconscionable. Let them decide when they are old enough. Its their body after all.

  • cjm71

    Many do not understand that the problem with medical malpractice cases is not the cases where there is a huge award, these are few and far between and often times the large judgments are required to make the victim whole. The problem lies in the many cases that are filed that are suspect at best. The attornies know that it is more cost efficient to settle a case for $50,000 than to litigate it for months or years on end.

    Therefore, many weak cases are fileds knowing that a quick wettlement will be likely if the plaintiff is willing to take an amount that makes it cost effective for the insurance company to settle.

    The large awards are often litigated through trial and have very real and substantial injury. Foten times the award is based upon not only the award for the pain and suffering from the injury, but the economic truth that, for example, a child may need to have medical care for the rest of his life and have care from one or more people in their daily life activities for decades into the future.

    Finally, people blame the lawyers, but a lawyer only has a case when their client brings them a case and ask them to do everything in their power, which an attorney is bound to do by the rules of ethics.

  • Dong

    It sounded like he had problems after the surgery and anesthesia. I wonder if he had too much IV tylenol and he had liver toxicity.

  • teresa

    I dont think there is anything ROUTINE about doing a circ on a 2 yr. old.

    My deepest sympathies to the family on your incredible loss. I am sure the
    hospital will investigate and let you know without having to get a lawyer to tell you.

  • Katlin

    Those doctors should have known what they were doing.I am a mother of two and I have lost two children myself, it is so heartbreaking. My greatest sympathies goes out to this family, may you child be in heaven (or where ever we go) and be experiencing only pure happiness.

    • douglas

      You don’t know that they didn’t know what they were doing. As someone else pointed out, they could have done everything correct. Sometimes this happens, and you can’t hold every hospital responsible for every single person who dies no matter what. Don’t let emotion cloud your ability to see facts.

      • Ed

        What either Beth or Crocker think is irrelevant. THEY are not this child’s parents and therefore have no say in the matter.

      • JM

        How do you know it was done in the name of religion? You don’t. The fact is that the article does not say why it was done–which was exactly my point.

      • Crocker

        JM How do you know that it wasn’t done simply for cosmetic reasons? You don’t. The article didn’t say. It DOES however bring up the need for us to get with the program and stop mutilating our kids in the name of religion.

      • JM

        Beth, how do you know this wasn’t done for a medical reason? You are making the assumption that this was done for cosmetic reasons. That may not be the case.

      • Mike

        Well said, Beth.

      • beth

        Keeping that in mind, the unavoidable statistics, why take risks with a child’s health/life when you don’t have to?? Boys and men all over the world get along just fine, unencombered by that much maligned bit of skin.

        Fact- foreskins are not evil. Leave it alone!!

        Emotion had already clouded facts here, and this little boy died for it. So terribly sad. His poor family will never be the same.

  • Norm

    It is a barbaric primitive ritualistic mutilation steeped in archaic cultural and religious belief systems. There is no real advantage or medical reason for the practice. Even a restrictive foreskin can be modified by plastic surgery techniques. In a modern and supposedly enlightened world we should have shed these practices. In the interest of equality, if you cut your sons then you should cut your daughters as well.

    • JW


      • kirsten

        If you want to see an idiot look in the mirror @ JW

      • JH

        No, you’re the idiot.

      • Jennifer

        No — he’s EDUCATED. If you actually knew what was done to these babies/children you’d be as horrified and sickened as those of us who actually know the truth about what happens. Sheesh, the family should be glad that the hospital actually bothered to anesthetize the child at all, since days old babies don’t even have THAT in most cases. There’s no reason to think that the child died because of the anesthesia. It’s much more likely he died of any of the other very common reasons that 100+ baby boys die (per year) in the U.S. as they do from SIDS.

    • Crocker

      Good point Norm. There is NO MEDICAL NEED for this procedure.

    • Luek

      Good for you Norm! Finally, somebody who has gotten it!
      Just stop mulitlating the genitals of newborn infant males!
      What part of this do most people not understand?

    • teresa

      @ NORM: sorry, we females get cut on enough Norm. chunks of our breasts taken out, scars down our bellies w/ babies cut out, episiotomies ( spelling there*) when we dont need them for natural childbirth, stretch marks all over our bodies as we grow to accomodate babies and breast milk. No, Norm, in the interest of EQUALITY, you dont want men to be equal w/ females on the cutting and scars.

      On another note, my Ex was not circed and I must say, I think i would prefer a circed guy for sex…. just saying…

      • Proud Mom

        Umm…”chunks of our breasts taken out”, is normally done to remove cancer. As a female, I must say that I’d gladly give up some breast tissue to save my life. And, as a mom of three, I’d gladly have had a c-section to save the life of my baby. As far as stretch marks, that just life, lady. You are too weird for words.

      • Luek

        @ teresa….Oh, poor, poor thang! Oh, how you and other women have suffered. Oh, my you are such a pitiful poor thang. Birth marks! Caesarian scars! Breast milk scars? Any who, poor, poor teresa!

  • Mandy

    To the moderator, it appears that Moily has removed her comment. As an RN(Ret), I worked for almost 20 year at a fully accredited, 1600 bed psychiatric hospital. The patient were diagnosed with a variety of illnesses ranging from depression bi-polar disorder, psychopath(sociopath) to NGRI (Not guilty by reason of insanity). You learn by what people say, act etc what their likely diagnosis is. I didn’t pull the word out of thin air.It was from 39 years in the nursing profession. For someone to be so insolent concerning the death of a young child, it definitely makes you wonder. How much more heartless could a person be?

  • pjh

    I don’t believe age is a factor. Decades ago, it wasn’t that unusual to have it done when older. My ex-husband’s was done when he was ten, which I thought was just cruel, none the less, he survived.

  • Marge Gunderson

    Everyone has already pointed out that it’s much more likely to be a mistake on the hospital’s side than the boy’s age, and that we have no way of knowing why his parents wanted or needed it done at this age.

    But to the shortsighted that say the boy’s age is the primary factor, even that would be more on the side of hospital’s trained professionals with decades of experience and thousands of previous cases.

    Not parents who are only trying to do what’s best for their children and don’t necessarily have advanced medical training!

    Thoughts and condolences to the family and friends, and may you be strong for each other even when you understandably feel like lashing out at anyone in range.

  • Just Sad

    Although I’m not sure why they waited until he was this old, we had our son done shortly after birth, I’m sadden by the lost that this family has endured. I hope that in the end the hospital is found responsible. For words to the family, I can not express any because I don’t know how it feels to lose a child. I’d be devastated if my son had died, I’d be enraged and probably end up on the front page of a news media somewhere.

    For the idiots out there, I can see if this was a stupid people type of story, but this involves a child, have respect.

    • Junky Man

      Sheesh, read the article. Its headline is intentionally misleading. The boy did not die from the operation, he died from the anesthetic they used.

      • Kirsten

        An anesthetic he wouldn’t have had, had his parents not forced an unnecessary medical procedure on him. Fact.

  • kanekahiau

    why dont you try admitting that as a doctor…you are ONLY PRACTICING medicine…many doctors that i know think they’re God……

  • Andrea kirkland

    My son who is in his mid twenty’s now had to have it done when he was 4 for medical reasons so please don’t judge. As a side note maybe it took the parents this long to save up to have it done…. Whatever the reason my thoughts and prayers are with the family and the doctors who also will have this burden to carry.

    • Emily

      we want you to have the CHOICE to mind your own business. as it stands now YOU dont make this choice on your own.

    • Mom in TX

      Our son had his done as a one year old. He was born prematurely and had edema, so it couldn’t be done at birth. We still chose to do it, because he had a hole in the foreskin that would have been susceptible to infections. Anyway, they used general anesthesia on him. They said that after a certain age, they had to use the general rather than local. As Andrea said, there are many reasons for having it done at an older age. My thoughts and prayers to the family.

      • kiley

        @Luek- she JUST stated why she had it done.
        Maybe you should learn to read?

        I fail to see how you all have strayed so far into these dumb debates. A little boy passed away, and that is that. Nothing can be undone. His parents chose to have his foreskin removed, just as many have and many will continue to do to their children.
        My boyfriend had his done when he was a baby, and he is thankful his mom and dad chose that so he didn’t have to do it later- and he said he WOULD have done it. It is a choice- a choice with risks, like any other choice in life. Quit attacking the families that choose this route, as it is their decision.

        I am so sorry for the loss of this little boy- his family is no doubt going through one of the worst pains a parent can ever experience. Hopefully he went quick with little to no pain. RIP little guy

      • Luek

        @ Mom in TX
        Why did you have it done at all?
        It is a stupid and debunked medical procedure.
        Just stop multilating the genitals of newborn males!

  • CRC

    What a stupid statement! You’re an idiot. Unnecessary or not is irrelveant when negligence on the part of the hospital is the REAL cause.

    • Hugh Intactive

      If something is unnecessary, it does not have to be done. Not doing it would have prevented all of this.

  • Johnny Handsome

    Sad. Very sad.


    To whoever viewed this comment..I APOLOGIZE for my lack of control and choice of words when I viewed his comment..Some people utilize this forum as an avenue to unloose their stupidity..I should never have stooped to his level.

  • aimee

    May god bless you in your time of sorrow

  • And now...

    Doctors complain that their malpractice insurance is too costly and the GOP wants to implement settlement limits on malpractice cases. Is their really a price to be put on the life of a child? Do we now understand why the insurance is so costly? The Healthcare reform act maintains your legal right to sue. Wouldn’t you?

    • Sean

      Yeah, about the healthcare reform act protecting “our” legal right to sue.

      In fact, healthcare reform penalizes states that dare “limit attorneys’ fees or impose caps on damages.”

      Howard Dean explained: Democrats don’t want “to take on the trial lawyers.”

      There is a reason Trial Attorneys support the D party.

      Think about it…

      In a tragic case as this, you may award the parents 100 mil, the attorney gets 33and-a-third percent OR 40-percent (depending on settlement or trial).

      Are you saying that you would object to capping the attorneys’ fees a little lower?

      Or they deserve to receive 33 to 40mil?

      And where would that money come from? Either Insurance premiums or tax dollars. One or both of those, depending on who’s got the “deeper pockets.”

      What exactly do trial attorneys DO to receive that sum? We know what the families’ endure to get 60 to 65% of the award.

      What do the trial attorneys endure?

      Reading, sitting at a table, negotiating, asking questions of people for a few days or weeks? Maybe months?

      Not to pick on anyone in particular, but John Edwards won massive awards, and then decried the insurance companies for having sky-high premiums.

      Who paid him HIS 60 mil net worth? We all did.

      Here in Florida, one plaintiff attorney had chandeliers OUTDOORS in his law firm parking lot. He later sued the state government for additional fees he said the state owed him from their tobacco verdicts. (The amount we owed him in ‘commissions’? A billion with a b.)

      At what point, specifically, do you perceive the trial attorneys as profiting excessively? And what is the just way to reign that excess in?

      Liberals and democrats are fast to call businesspeople greedy.

      What about the Trial attorneys who profit tens of millions
      from a family’s suffering, or a child’s awful death?

      • Bryan

        Sean — your comment is really uninformed and ludicrous. Yes, even down right stupid! Your trying to draw lines from point A to point B…..but somehow you skipped straight to point Z. Stop being brainwashed and actually form an opinion for yourself….instead of regurgitating propaganda from the right. Moron!

      • george

        I think WE ALL may be a little brainwashed Bryan but of course you wouldn’t see that as a good “open minded” democrat would you?

      • Sean

        Bryan, I did form an opinion and I stated it without any name-calling.

        My opinion came from my observations as a trial consultant.

        I used to do jury research, jury selection and witness prep.

        Research: We did mock trials and then watched/videotaped the deliberation behind a two-way mirror. Why? To hone the argument to squeeze the biggest possible award out of the jury.

        Jury Selection: During voir dire I helped attorneys find the more sympathetic jurors. (Sympathy = dollars. By the way, men were consistently more sympathetic than women, which always surprised me.)

        For witness prep: I helped the plaintiff generate an emotional response in the jury.

        Argue all you’d like (preferably without name-calling, if you’d be so kind), but if you’re going to sit at your computer and think that trial attorneys are not at all like the greedy businesspeople democrats love to excoriate, then I would sincerely and respectfully invite you to hang out more with trial attorneys.

      • Robert

        Like I’ve always observed! democrats cannot “see” the future. They argue about what is there now but cannot foresee the ramifications of their decisions to the detriment of our nation. This is why there should be much less democratic leaders elected. To prove my point, once you challenge these democrats or liberals, they will engage to name calling you because there is really nothing up there just like Obama and others who uses race as a protective barrier. The media further protects them by repeating their lies making people think they are the right ones to the downfall of this nation as they make heroes of democrats and monsters of republicans who have better foresights only because they were made that way. Recent studies prove republicans do have higher IQs than democrats.

  • trt50

    For anyone of any age, about to have surgery, the anestesiologist if THE most important person in the operating room. Their job is to take complete control of
    your vitals, :oxygen intake, heart rate, etc and they must control the dosage of very powerful medications, and it only take a very small amount to kill or disable a patient for life. When possible, always op for local anesthesia. You will heal faster too. My heart goes out to this family. Please sue, no excuse for this to happen.

  • Paul

    I’m saying a prayer for the child and the family.
    May the grace of God be with you at this time.

  • S. Smith

    We are told the child was almost 2 years not two months. We are not told the reason his folks waited so long. That is not the point. To bring that up judgementally is just based on speculation. This scenario calls only for a sharing of grief with hurting people like ourselves.
    The rude comment above is just made by someone who is not able to express their reaction to horrible situations in a caring way. To be upset iis normal. To be so deplorably lacking in communication skills of proper vocabulary while being computer literate is very unfortunate indeed. That person also is in need of our pity.

  • DM

    That is completely inconsiderate, rude and cruel Please remove your remark. It is offensive.


    My thoughts and prayers are with the mother and father. As a mother of 5, my youngest will be 2yrs old next month, I’m deeply saddened by their lost. No parent should lose a child reagrdless of what age.
    May his young soul rest in peace.

  • Sylvia Gonzalez

    It’s devastating! To lose a precious 2 yr. old over what is supposed to be a common safe surgical procedure is heart rending. My heart goes out to the parents and family of this angel. May God give you the grace to ease the pain and may you have the strength to face this difficult period of in your life. The result of a thorough investigation should be made public so this tragedy should never happen again.

  • Ana

    i”m so very sorry!!! I”m a mother of three and i don”t know what i would do if anything was to happen to my children. Make sure you get an answer and don”t settle for any bulls____!

    A mother too!!!

  • Ginger Rogue

    Why were they performing this on a 2 yr old?

  • Ma

    2 years old?? That’s cruel.

    • Elliott Lanosa

      The baby was 2 Months old. Something went terribly wrong and now the parents have a deceased child and the Hospital/Doctor who performed this very minor surgery have to answer to their “mistake”.

      • Jacq

        Read the story again. The baby was 2 years old.

    • melissa

      I ave a nephew who ended needing one when he was 2 years old. My dh needed one as an adult. Sometimes even when you keep the area clean as possible and pull the skin back to wash infections happen.

      • Hugh Intactive

        Pulling the skin back before it is ready CAUSES infections. Girls also get infections (more than boys) but we don’t think about cutting parts off them.

    • Marie

      Some what ignorant are we?

  • Kim

    My deepest simpathy and condolences to the family.

  • Leticia T.

    My prayers to you and your family … May God and the Virgin Mary bring to you peace , strength and serenity in this time of difficulty… My deepest condolences….

  • Marina Ios

    this is sad, the poor kid, God rest his soul in peace
    the truth is that mistakes can happen anywhere, in any hospital
    i give my example: i went to beth israel medical center hospital in nyc, when i had a total heart block and i needed a pacemaker, this was back in 2002, i got the pacemaker, lots of follow ups, everything went fine for 7 years, then i changed it with the second pacemaker at another hospital, in queens, being more convenient to where i live. i had a bad experience and i regreted that i did not return to BIMC
    my opinion is that situation is isolated, unfortunate and really sad things can happen in any hospital
    my deepest sympathies to the family

  • Watchful Patient NYC

    Beth Israel Medical Center NY kind of scares me with anything
    other than a blood pressure test,sad but true.
    A friend of mine was almost killed by a BIMC nurse putting in
    too much morphine into her pain pump system ,she sued BIMC
    and got s settlement.She almost died and was in a coma.
    The nurse did not care to read the dosage listing for this ambulatory
    out patient.

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