Orthodox Rabbis Denounce New York City Rule About "Snip-N-Suck" Circumcision
After they finished approving Mayor Bloomberg's ban on big sodas, yesterday the NYC Board of Health approved a new law requiring parents to sign a consent form before Orthodox rabbis can perform the bizarre ritual known as "snip-n-suck" circumcisions. The decision came as Orthodox Jews protested outside. Gothamist reports:
"Metzitzah b’peh" is the practice of sucking the blood from a just snipped foreskin in traditional Jewish circumcisions. Most modern mohels use a sterile pipette to do so, but some Orthodox parents insist on the ancient tradition. The Board voted in favor of a mandatory written consent form being given to parents before a mohel performs direct oral suction of the infant's penis. Members acknowledged the delicateness of the "difficult legal situation"—despite there being a "very clear public necessity" to do something, they stressed the importance of respecting religious beliefs.The consent form reads:
I understand that direct oral suction will be performed on my child and that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advises parents that direct oral suction should not be performed because it exposes an infant to the risk of transmission of herpes simplex virus infection, which may result in brain damage or death.The CDC reported in June that 11 NYC infant boys contracted herpes from their Orthodox rabbis in the last ten years. Two of the boys died. The rabbi in the above photo said he and his colleagues will likely ignore the new consent form.