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Health Department: Child Infected In Circumcision That Defied NYC Consent Law
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The mother of an infant who contracted herpes following a bris with direct oral suction last month denied receiving the required consent form from the mohel, whose name the family refused to disclose to the New York City Department of Health, The Jewish Week has learned.

A rule requiring parents to give informed consent before a bris involving direct oral suction, or metzitzah b’peh, went into effect in New York City in January.

According to the city’s health department, the infant “developed vesicular lesions (small, saclike bodies) on the scrotum in the weeks after ritual circumcision” and the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and “was isolated from lesions.” According to a health department spokesperson, the parents say they never received the requisite consent form from the mohel.

In this case — the second reported in the last three months — the infant developed a fever “seven days after circumcision and vesicular lesions the following day.” The infant had what is known as disseminated herpes infection, meaning it has spread throughout the body, but survived.

According to a spokesperson for the health department, no legal action is being taken despite the reported absence of a consent form.

A coalition of Orthodox groups is suing in federal court to have the consent decree, approved unanimously by the city’s Board of Health in September, declared invalid on grounds that it interferes with religious practice. The health department agreed to voluntarily stay the rule while a preliminary injunction was being considered by the federal court. The federal court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction and the matter is now on appeal. The rule however, remains in effect.

Last Update:

03/03/2014 - 05:57
metzitzah b'peh, New York City Department of Health
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I have worked in pediatrics for the last 13 year, and have been present for many circumcisions, done in many different ways. I do find it quite disturbing that grown adults, and parent's feel that it is appropriate for a grown man - weather for religious- reasons or not, to suck on the penise of an infant boy. Or on any boy for that matter, I think if I was present, as I was for the circumcisions for both of my boys, I might be going to Jail for murder. When I had both of my boys done, they were taking to surgery and then had the foreskin removed while they were completely asleep. One of the joys of being friends with the Anestehologist. But the best advocate that child has is YOU!!! They have no way to express there fear at what is about to go on. And make sure you are present for the entire procedure, and make sure your in the room with them when it happens, so if there is anything that goes wrong that doesn't make you feel right - tell them to stop. Even if there even half way through the procedure. Your the parent and you have the right to stop the procedure anytime you feel uncomfortable. And don't let them tell you that they have to continue. My second son had a penile block. A moment of discomfort, they gave him an injection at the base of his penise, which numbed the shaft and the glands. He didn't even cry. just remember, getting up and walking out with your son, even if they have started already far out weigh the risks of sitting there and just letting it go on, which has the possibility to turn out badly...

Never in my life did I imagine pedophilia is ripe and actually condoned in the Jewish community. Eleven New York babies with herpes because of Metzitzah B'Pei, with one of those babies now dead, and the Jewish community thinks this is acceptable? Sickening doesn't even begin to describe this. A pedophile would be in jail for committing such a crime. I don't care if this is the oldest tradition/ritual in the world, it is still a criminal act. Why are these Rabbis getting away with such a disgusting crime when others caught doing the same would be in prison? Shame on the Rabbis & shame on anyone who thinks what they are doing is acceptable.

I think the real question is how many brain damaged and dead babies it will take before the Chasidishe rabbis and members of Agudah's Moetzes have the integrity to admit they're wrong about MbP.

There is no halachic heter to allow MbP. In the face of any health risk halacha dictates that the medical professionals take charge. Period.

Rabbis, have no say in this matter.

Once medical professionals determined that MbP is dangerous the practice is forbidden. Period.

Any parent who allows a mohel to perform MbP on their son violates ushmartem and is a roitzeiach. Any mohel who performs MbP is a rodef.

I suggest we stop waiting for our leaders to lead and instead use our brains and protect our children from danger.

What hipocracy from a religion that proclaims any halachic law may be broken (except murder) to preserve life and health. We know that mohels continue to spread disease, retardation and death through Metzitzah B'Pei, yet no one in the community will come forth and identify them, so they can be tested. They are no different than Typhoid Mary, who refused tFo believe she could be responsible for the death of so many innocent children and changed her name to work as a cook in a maternity hospital. The same evil forces that have protected the sex offenders continues to extract silence from these parent victims.

Great. So more disabled children are born (herpes can cause retardation, I believe) and the burden is passed onto the rest of us taxpayers. How nice. Imagine if Christians performed this sick act...imagine the outcry.

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