THE EXAMINER, Independence, Missouri, Tuesday, August 10, 2004.

Circumcision completed, despite mom's opposition

By Cherryh Cluckey
The Examiner

Three-year-old Ethan Azar is recovering well from his recent circumcision, said his father, Ray Jagoda.

"It was quick and done under anesthesia," he said.

A doctor performed the procedure last week despite opposition from the boy's mother.

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

She petitioned the Missouri Supreme Court to intervene in July. The court was to determine whether the circuit court should listen to the case instead of dismissing it.

However, Jagoda went ahead with the surgery.

"It was for religious reasons and we found it was medically necessary," he said. "...Or Ethan would have had future problems if we didn't do it."

Camile Azar disagreed.

"That's not true," she said. "Saying it was medically justified is a fabrication to justify what he did."

Jagoda would not reveal where the surgery was done or who performed it, conditions the doctor had requested.

Camile Azar said she is angry for her son.

"He will not be able to function normally the way nature intended," she said. "There were experts who tried to talk (to Jagoda about the negative side of circumcision). Two were even world experts, but he refused."

Jagoda said he was under no legal obligation to wait for the circumcision.

"I just had to find someone who had not been intimidated by Camille," he said.

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.

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

(File created 10 August 2004)