NYC to Require Consent for Controversial Religious Circumcision

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New York City's Board of Health voted 9-0 to require parental consent for a controversial ultra-Orthodox circumcision practice called metzitzah b’peh.

The new rule approved Thursday would require anyone performing the ritual to obtain written consent from a parent or guardian.

The parents will have to sign a form acknowledging that the city Health Department advises against the practice because of risks of herpes and other infections.

In the ritual, after the mohel, the person performing the circumcision, removes the foreskin, he briefly suctions the blood from the penis to clear the wound, before dressing it.

The Health Department says there have been 11 confirmed cases of herpes simplex since 2004 in newborn boys after circumcisions that likely involved direct oral suction. Two of the infants died.

Defenders of the practice said they will ignore the new rule.

Rabbi William Handler of Brooklyn said the circumcision ritual is 3,000 years old and is safe.

With the Associated Press


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Comments [2]

Dick Scalper from Boston

They brand men like a herd of cows. “Neonatal post-traumatic stress disorder” — the recurrent American nightmare for boys. American men are such wimps to let their sons be subjected to this absurd surgery. If it were women tied down & cut, the Feminists would be howling all over the world. The male genitals are a cheap commodity. There is no argument too absurd for the circumcisers. They insult the appearance of the intact penis, claim that circumcision heals everything from body warts to HIV, and draw an illogical distinction between female & male genitals. Circumcision is the mark of a slave, not a free man. It will be up to merciful mothers to spare their sons this humiliation. With a few exceptions, most circumcised men are so defensive & narcissistic they'll never own up to their loss.

Top Ten Tortures Less Painful Than Circumcision

10. Get waterboarded.
9. Pull out your fingernails.
8. Eat a pile of steaming bear crap.
7. Skin yourself alive.
6. Fall into a vat of molten iron.
5. Get run over by a train.
4. Go through a sausage grinder.
3. Saw off your legs.
2. Poke out your eyes.
1. Go To Hell

Circumcision: Identity, Gender, and Power By Miriam Pollack © 2011
Citation: Pollack, Miriam. 2011. "Circumcision: Identity, Gender, and Power." Tikkun 26(3).
Published at with author's permission.

“snip-snip” (2005) @ includes a graphic video of the gruesome surgery.


Sep. 14 2012 12:50 PM
ariel from nyc

First step of what I hope will expose this entire practice of harming a small child's body eradicated from civilized western societies. It's a 3000 year practice that has no standing in the 21st Century.
If this practice were "commanded" to be performed on girls - would we tolerate it?
A society must protect the sanctity of the biological male + female newborn body - they who cannot fend for themselves.
And who would think to put the penis (bloodied) of small child in their mouths? 3000 year old ritual indeed.
Full disclosure: I'm Jewish.

Sep. 13 2012 06:00 PM

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