De Blasio to lift consent form requirement for circumcision ritual http://t.co/BmRU6ERQCb
— Gawker (@Gawker) February 25, 2015
NY Mayor Bill De Blasio made good on a campaign promise to NY's Jewish leaders allowing rabbis to continue a bizarre circumcision ritual that caused 16 cases of Herpes infection in baby boys.
The ritual, called Metzitzah B'Peh, involves a rabbi -- called a "mohel" -- performing circumcisions on a baby boy, then using their mouths to suck the blood from the baby's penis.
NY health officials say 2 of the 16 babies died from complications caused by Herpes, and 2 more boys suffered brain damage.
During his campaign, De Blasio promised to lift a regulation that required parents to sign a form giving their mohel permission to perform the ritual circumcision. But Jewish leaders decried the regulation as an affront to their religion.
According to The New York Observer, only one family turned in a form to the health department since the regulation was put into place.
This week the de Blasio administration lifted the regulation and substituted it with an alternative:
"In exchange for abandoning the consent forms, the coalition of rabbis negotiating with City Hall agreed that if a baby is diagnosed with HSV-1, the community would identify the mohel in question and ask him to undergo testing. If the mohel tests positive for HSV-1, the city's health department will test the DNA of the strain to see if it matches the infant's.
If it does, the mohel will be banned from performing the ritual for life."
Despite the outcry from New Yorkers, the de Blasio administration acknowledges "that MBP carries with it health risks," but the administration's "respect for traditional practices by the religious community," outweighs the health risk to baby boys.