Recently, the Detroit authorities confirmed that an emergency room physician working at a Detroit hospital has been performing illegal surgical procedures on several underage patients at an unknown clinic from the same city. According to the doctor’s affidavit, Jumana Nagarwala, listed as an ER doctor, has performed female genital mutilation on 7-year-old girls in a clinic located in Livonia, a Detroit suburb.
Case Without Precedent in the United States
The US authorities have identified what appears to be the first case of deliberate female genitalia mutilation in the country. This surgical procedure, which experts discovered that it could have severe health repercussions, has been outlawed in the United States of America since 1996.
However, as Daniel Lemisch, Detroit’s acting attorney, pointed out, the brutal procedure, which involves the total or partial removal of the clitoris, inner and outer labia, has been allowed for good reasons in most countries around the globe.
What Is Female Genital Mutilation?
Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcisions, is considered a rite of passage and is usually performed before the patient reaches the age of five. An explanation of this practice, beyond the cultural and religious implications, might be gender inequality. As many sociologists explained, this procedure might be understood as the society’s attempt to control aspects related to childbirth and women sexuality.
In countries where female genital mutilation is still performed, parents believe that their daughters might be shunned by society, and considered impure and ugly if they do not perform this ritual. Although most of the countries outlawed female genital mutilation, some countries from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are performing it, such Egypt, Sudan, and Somalia.
Case Under Scrutiny
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the emergency room physician who was recently accused of having performed the outlawed surgical procedure on multiple underaged patients was operating in an unnamed clinic, which was not affiliated with the Detroit hospital.
Furthermore, the phone records seized by the Federal authorities reveal that one couple traveled all the way from Minnesota to Michigan with their 7-year-old daughter for Nagarwala to perform the surgery. This was the first sign that the ER physician might have set up an illegal practice.
After reviewing the couple’s complaint, the Federal authorities sought other patients treated by the Nagarwala. The investigation revealed that the 7-year-old girl was not the only patient brought to the doctor’s clinic for the procedure. Medical exams performed on the victims revealed that their genitalia was surgically altered.
Besides having to defend herself against the charged of performing an outlawed surgical procedure, Dr. Jumana Nagarmala might also be charged with bearing false testimony, after telling the authorities that she did not perform such a procedure.
Image source: Flickr
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