THE EXAMINER, Independence, Missouri, Thursday, 15 July 2004.

Parents in court over son's circumcision

By Cherryh Cluckey
The Examiner

A Lee's Summit mother is fighting to prevent her 3-year-old son's father from having the boy circumcised.

"Several studies have shown that getting it done during the phallic state of development is dangerous psychologically to the child," said Camille Azar. "They see it as castration."

The boy's father, Ray Jagoda of Leawood, Kan., disagrees. "It's actually better because he will be with a doctor under anesthesia," said Jagoda, who has full custody of Ethan. "He won't feel any pain."

Azar was denied an order to protect a child from medical harm from the Jackson County Circuit Court and was then denied a writ of prohibition from the Court of Appeals.

She petitioned The Missouri Supreme Court Wednesday.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Christine Sill-Rogers gave Jagoda full custody of Ethan in May; Azar gets supervised visits. They had been sharing custody, but Azar previously had full custody.

Jagoda said Azar is only trying to get attention and suffers from mental diseases, which contributed to the judge giving him custody of their son.

Court documents state Azar suffers from high levels of anxiety, nervousness, anger, hostility, suspiciousness, and uncooperativeness.

Azar said she doesn't want Ethan to have anything taken away that may be valuable and doesn't want him to feel any pain. "We need to wait until he's older and let him make the decision for himself," she said.

The parents saw a doctor at Children's Mercy Hospital on Monday who said he would not perform the procedure until the parents came to an agreement, Azar said.

"He was wise enough to know the child could pay a terrible price," she said.

Azar's lawyer, Dennis Owens, said it could take a few days to a couple of weeks for the Missouri Supreme Court to make a ruling.

To reach Cherryh Cluckey, send e-mail to or call 350-6321.

(File created 16 July 2004)