The New York City Health Commissioner called for an end to a controversial circumcision-related rite.
In a strongly worded statement, Dr. Thomas Farley said that direct oral-genital suction, known as metzitzah b’peh, should not be performed during Jewish ritual circumcision. He said that several hospitals, including those serving the haredi Orthodox community, have agreed to distribute a brochure that describes the risk of contracting the herpes virus from the practice.
The controversy over metzitzah b’peh was reignited in March after it came to light that an unidentified infant died Sept. 28 at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center from “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction,” according to the death certificate. — jta