Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Say They Will Not Comply With NYC Circumcision Informed Consent Rule If It Is Adopted

As previously reported, the New York City Health Department will vote on Sept. 13 on proposed rules to require written informed consent by parents to a controversial Jewish ritual circumcision method that health authorities say can spread herpes.  The procedure, known as metzitzah b’peh, involves use of the mohel's mouth-- rather than the more commonly used sterile pipette-- to suction blood from the circumcision site and is used only by certain Orthodox Jewish sects. On Sunday, both the New York Post and Vos Iz Neias? blog report that some 200 ultra-Orthodox rabbis have signed onto a Proclamation (full text in Yiddish) saying that the Health Department "printed and spread lies. . . in order to justify their evil decree." Rabbi David Niederman, executive director of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, said that mohels will not comply with the regulation if it is approved.  He said: "For the government to force a rabbi who’s practicing a religious act to tell his congregants it’s dangerous is totally unacceptable. You’re forcing the mohel and the parent to sign a piece of paper that contradicts their religious convictions."