Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Settlement Agreed To In NYC Circumcision Regulation Challenge

The New York Observer reported yesterday that New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio's administration has reached a settlement agreement with the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in a lawsuit (see prior posting) challenging the New York City Health Department's regulations requiring mohels to obtain written consent from parents before using the oral suction method (metzitzah b’peh) of performing a ritual circumcision. Under the settlement agreement reached after long negotiations with rabbinic authorities, the city will use local health care providers to educate the community about the risks of herpes infection in infants. Jewish leaders will help the city identify the mohel who performed the circumcision on any infant who becomes infected with HSV1.  If genetic testing shows the mohel was the source of the infection, the Jewish community will permanently remove him as a mohel, and he will be subject to financial penalties if he continues to perform circumcisions.  However the list of those removed will not be made public.  This arrangement will lead to a settlement of the pending litigation and repeal of the informed consent requirements.