From the St Pete Times
By Associated Press
Published May 13, 2004
David Reimer, a Canadian who was born as a boy but raised as a girl after a botched circumcision, committed suicide after failed investments drove him into poverty.
Reimer, 38, shot himself in the head while sitting in a car in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on May 4, said Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, Manitoba's chief medical examiner.
Friends said an anguished Reimer told them he lost at least $47,500 last year in a shady pro golf shop investment.
Reimer gained fame in 2000 when he went public with his ordeal. It was published in the book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised a Girl by John Colapinto.
The boy's experiences prompted medical experts in recent years to rethink once-accepted wisdom on treating sexual identity cases.
When an 8-month-old Reimer was being circumcised at a Winnipeg hospital in 1966, a general practitioner filling in for the regular surgeon accidentally burned the boy's penis beyond recovery.
Reimer's parents sought advice from Dr. John Money, a sex researcher at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore.
Money, attempting to prove that gender depends on how a child is raised rather than genetics, advocated removing the rest of boy's male genitalia and prescribing female hormones.
Reimer was raised as "Brenda" and his progress was compared with that of his identical twin, Brian. But their differences diminished as they entered puberty.
David Reimer was 15 when he learned about the mishap and his true identity from his father. He then rejected further treatment as a girl. He underwent surgery to remove his breasts and to construct a penis.
Changing his name to David, he eventually married and led a quiet life working at low-paying jobs in Winnipeg. He could not father children but helped raise three stepchildren.
He also threatened the doctor who botched the circumcision, and he attempted suicide three times.
Reimer was awarded $73,000 in a lawsuit against the Winnipeg hospital and Colapinto's book also brought in money, but acquaintances said David Reimer always struggled to make ends meet. Members of the Transcona Golf Club where he once worked collected money so he could feed his family, and staff members gave him leftovers from the restaurant.
Then, two years ago, Brian Reimer committed suicide. The twins' mother, Janet, said David was still mourning the loss and recently became more depressed after losing his job and separating from his wife, Jane.
I've heard of Justifiable Homicide - is this like Justifiable Suicide? Dang.
"The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth".
Omar M. Ahmad, Chairman of CAIR-1998