You probably heard about the other big decision the city Board of Health made today, but may have missed another, less widely-reported one. Remember the controversy surrounding a circumcision practice employed in certain “ultra-Orthodox” Jewish communities in which a Rabbi sucks the blood off of an infant’s newly-circumcised penis? Aside from the more obvious ways in which this is weird and gross, you should know that since 2004, there have been 11 reported cases of herpes simplex virus in newborn boys that likely stemmed from this type of circumcision. Two of them were fatal.
If you’re hoping I’m going to tell you that the practice was outlawed, I apologize. The Board of Health simply ruled that from now on, Rabbis must obtain parental consent, which, apparently, they didn’t need before. The worst part: according to the AP, “defenders of the practice said they will ignore the new rule.” You read that right–Rabbis who defend the circumcision method will continue to use it, even if the babies’ parents don’t want them to.
(Photo: Adam Fagen/Flickr)