Remember my post last month about Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis protesting a proposed new law in New York City that would require parents to sign a consent form before the rabbis could practice a form of circumcision where the rabbi uses his mouth to suck the blood from the infant’s bleeding penis?
The city’s reasoning was pretty straightforward.
In the proposal outlining the need for the regulation, the Department of Health stated that between 2004 and 2011, there were 11 confirmed cases of infants contracting herpes simplex virus infection after direct oral suction during a circumcision. Two of those babies died, and at least two others suffered brain damage, the proposal states.
“The parents of some of these infants have said that they did not know before their child’s circumcision that direct oral suction would be performed,” the proposal states. “In addition, since 2004, the Department has received multiple complaints from parents whose children may not have been infected who were also not aware that direct oral suction was going to be performed as part of their sons’ circumcisions.”
In a statement Thursday, City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley called the written consent regulation, “lawful, appropriate and necessary. ”
“The city’s highest obligation is to protect its children; therefore, it is important that parents know the risks associated with the practice,” Farley said.
The city passed the law over the rabbis’ objections and it was due to go into effect on October 21. Now the Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada, Agudath Israel of America, International Bris Association and three rabbis have gone to court to stop implementation of the law.
Why? Religious freedom of course! Which is interpreted by them as being allowed to do just as they please as long as it is part of their tradition, the health and safety of the baby be damned.
These religious ‘leaders’ can only survive by keeping people ignorant. It will be interesting to see how the courts rule. It seems to me to be an easy decision but one never knows.