Friday, January 11, 2013

Rabbonim lose in Metziza B'peh! Round One!

A judge yesterday cut off debate over implementation of the city’s circumcision law.
Manhattan federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ordered that Orthodox rabbis who engage in a controversial ritual of sucking blood from the area around a baby’s freshly snipped foreskin must first warn his parents their child could get herpes.
Buchwald lifted a voluntary stay of last year’s Board of Health directive requiring written consent for the procedure, and denied a request for a preliminary injunction barring enforcement by the city Health Department.
She said the “ample medical evidence that direct oral suction places infants at a serious risk” outweighed the ability to perform it “uninhibited.”
City officials have said 11 babies have contracted herpes after undergoing“metzitzah b’peh” since 2000, and two of them have died.
Plaintiffs had sued to block the warning, saying it would violate rabbis’ First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion.
Reps for the plaintiffs didn’t return a request for comment.

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