By SHAUNA ANDERSON
Four-year old Chase is a delightful moppet of a boy.
He loves playing in the park and making silly faces.
He has a Mum and Dad who love him endlessly but he also knows that his Mum and Dad are fighting over him in court.
And he knows what the fight is about – whether he should be circumcised.
Surely the weight of that knowledge is not something a four-year old boy should have to bear.
The court battle
The on-going dispute has been battled out in the courts of Florida for much of the year.
Chase’s parents spilt in 2011 a year after he was born.
When they broke up they drafted a parenting agreement that among other things stipulated that Chase’s father, Dennis Nebus would be responsible for scheduling and paying for Chase to be circumcised.
At the time both Chase’s mother, Heather Hironimus and father, Dennis Nebus signed the documents.
But two years later Heather changed her mind saying that the surgery is purely cosmetic and the parenting plan no longer pertains to a now older, and more aware, boy.
In May court papers she submitted claimed that she felt it was “not medically necessary and she did not want to have the parties’ son undergo requisite general anesthesia for fear of death.” Reported Salon.
After a lengthy battle and much media coverage the matter was ruled upon and the judge went in favour of the original agreement saying there was no reason why the parents should not abide by their decision.
The judge cited testimony by pediatric urologist Charles Flack, who said circumcision was not medically necessary but noted that “penile cancer only occurs in uncircumcised males” and that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection.
The ruling had a gag order stating that Heather “shall not in any way lead [Chase] to believe that she is or was opposed to his being circumcised, whether or not she accompanies [Chase] to the procedure.”
It seemed finished.
But Heather appealed and the case went to a higher court which issued a stay.
Russell Crowe’s support
The case has now been taken up by an online fundraising site and caught the eye of Hollywood stars Russell Crowe and Alicia Silverstone.
Crowe re-tweeted a tweet which is trying to raise support and money for Heather.