Professor Marci Hamilton: Who Will Protect New York’s Children from Preventable Death and Permanent Disability?

By Marci A. Hamilton

August 21, 2014 Verdict Justia - For millennia, Orthodox Jews have been celebrating the birth of a boy with a ceremony called a “bris” at which the boy is named and circumcised by a rabbi. Typically, it occurs within days of the birth. One of the ancient practices, which has been abandoned by most rabbis, has the rabbi, or mohel, engage in oral suction of the blood from the wound following the circumcision; it’s called metzitzah b’peh, orMBP. There are some remaining ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis, however, who do still engage in oral suction.

That is not good news, because, according to the Jewish Daily Forward, “since 2000, 16 infants in New York City are suspected of contracting herpes following MBP. Two of those babies died and at least two others suffered brain damage.” The most recent cases were announced last month.

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