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Some Circumcisions May Require Release From Parents

The New York City Board of Health has voted to require a legal consent form before children can receive a traditional Ultra-orthodox Jewish form of circumcision called metzizah b'peh.

The practice is carried out by an orthodox community member known as a mohel, who first removes the foreskin and then sucks excess blood with his mouth. While this is considered the only appropriate was to complete a circumcision in some religious sects, the Department of Health says it could also be linked the transmission of herpes.

The decision came in a unanimous vote, and has even drawn support from prominent members of the Jewish community in New York.

"This practice, which is not required by Jewish law, and emanates from older practices designed to prevent illnesses that precede current medical knowledge about disease, presents a serious health risk to babies and is inconsistent with the Jewish tradition's preeminent concern with human life and health," Gerald Skolnik, President of the Rabbinical Assembly and rabbi at the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens, said in a statement.

by RTT Staff Writer

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