INTACTIVIST OF THE MONTH: John Geisheker
One of Intact America's greatest strengths is the diverse and supportive intactivist community. Our "Intactivist of the Month" series highlights some of the most ardent opponents of infant and childhood circumcision, whose tireless efforts will ensure a future where all babies are kept intact.
FEBRUARY 2012: John V. Geisheker, J.D., LL.M., is the Executive Director and General Counsel of Doctors Opposing Circumcision, an international non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington. Representing D.O.C., John appears at medical, childbirth, and human rights conventions, presenting on the medical science, bioethics, and the dubious legality of infant genital cutting; he also generously supports attorneys around the United States by preparing briefs and providing advice on various circumcision-related legal issues.
John is proud that, in the 1960s, his native New Zealand fully abandoned "medicalized" infant circumcision as unnecessary—with no negative child health consequences. John's work for D.O.C. on behalf of children is entirely pro bono, that is without compensation of any kind—and his work is significant. John has spoken on circumcision and pediatric bioethics both in the United States and internationally. He also attended the 2008 International AIDS Conference in Mexico City with Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America (see photo).
John has been a litigator, law lecturer, arbitrator, and mediator, specializing in medical disputes, for more than 30 years. With John as General Counsel, D.O.C. was instrumental in defending Misha Boldt, a 14-year-old facing an unwanted and unnecessary circumcision occasioned by the claimed religious conversion of his father. That case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was remanded and finally resolved when a state judge honored the wishes of the boy—after five years of bitter litigation pushed by religious interests.
Currently D.O.C. is focused on forced foreskin retraction injuries, attempting to discourage this pernicious practice among health professionals, and alerting state medical licensing authorities to offenders. D.O.C believes that "PFFR," Premature Forcible Foreskin Retraction, coupled with the injurious advice that boys need aggressive hygiene, is a "gateway drug" for the circumcising community.
John is delighted D.O.C. was consulted in the early formation of Intact America. "I hope that the collaboration between D.O.C. and IA will continue for years to come," he says, "and that we will all work ourselves out of a job soon. The opponents of human rights for children are well-financed and determined; there is much that needs to be done together."
Says Georganne Chapin, “John Geisheker is a wonderful colleague, a true intellectual, and a tireless fighter for the rights of all children to their intact bodies. Whether in sharing the podium during a presentation, co-staffing a booth at a professional conference, or just kicking back on the Seattle houseboat John built with his wife Michaelle, the time I have spent with John has been a huge inspiration in my own work for Intact America. We also honor Michaelle, who supports John’s intactivist efforts by working as a cancer nurse-administrator at a Seattle hospital. Thanks to both of you!”
Visit our Intactivist of the Month Archive page to read about previous intactivists we've highlighted.