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No ban lift for circumcision doctor accused of ‘amputation’

The Melbourne doctor will not be able to perform procedures while he appeals a medical board decision, following medical mishaps with two newborn patients.
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Dr Hershel Goldman

Dr Hershel Goldman

Published: 13 June 2024

Last updated: 13 June 2024

A doctor who regularly performs ritual circumcisions on Jewish babies and Muslim children has lost his battle to continue performing the procedure while he appeals a medical board decision.

Dr Hershel Goldman, who estimates he has performed 20,000 circumcisions over 40 years, was banned from conducting circumcisions in April by the the Medical Board of Australia that prevents him from performing circumcisions.

It is alleged one of his newborn patients suffered an “amputation or partial amputation” of his penis and another needed a blood transfusion following his circumcision.

VCAT rejected the 63-year-old’s request to delay the ban ahead of a full appeal hearing and decision later this year.

One affected family claims Goldman “pressed on with the ritual prayers for several minutes and delayed providing care to the infant” after their baby bled more than usual after the operation.

“Dr Goldman had no procedures in place to manage the complication, with management of the emergency being undertaken by guests at the party who were also medical practitioners,” the family told the Medical Board’s Immediate Action Committee.

The doctor submitted to the tribunal that he should be allowed to continue performing circumcisions in clinical settings only, and not in people’s homes, while the appeal process was ongoing.

He argued the ban would cause a “devastating financial impact” and be detrimental for the Jewish and non-Jewish community, as half his clients were Muslim.

VCAT deputy president Ian Proctor said the evidence did not give him confidence that the serious risk posed by Goldman could be satisfactorily reduced by banning only in-home religious procedures.

“The paramount principle of the protection of the public and public confidence in the safety of services provided by registered health practitioners outweighs Dr Goldman’s personal interest in continuing his circumcision practice and community interest in him being able to do so,” Proctor said.


Circumcision doctor accused of ‘amputation’ fails to have ban lifted amid appeal (SMH, paywall)


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