An infant died at Maimonides Medical Center on Sept. 28 from herpes contracted from metzitzah b'peh performed during a bris milah, circumcision. But the family of the dead boy is refusing to cooperate with the investigation into their son's death.
Family stonewalling authorities after newborn dies from herpes contracted in ritual circumcision
Sources in Orthodox Jewish community say baby's parents were related to herpes-infected rabbi who did circumcision
By Simone Weichselbaum And Reuven Blau • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
An infant died at Maimonides Medical Center on Sept. 28 from herpes contracted during a ritual circumcision.
Authorities are being stonewalled by the family of a newborn boy who died after contracting herpes through a controversial religious circumcision ritual, the Daily News has learned.
Multiple sources in the Orthodox Jewish community said the 2-week-old boy’s parents were related to a herpes-infected rabbi who conducted the circumcision according to tradition — using one’s mouth to remove blood from the wound.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is investigating the death and trying to identify the rabbi, or mohel, but family members have not been cooperative, sources said.
“You guys are barking up the right tree,” a law enforcement source said of word that the mohel was related to the boy. “But we don’t know yet who did what.”
City health officials have criticized the religious practice, saying that putting the open wound into contact with the mouth of the rabbi carries “inherent risks” for the infant.
The unidentified infant died at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center last Sept. 28. An autopsy listed the cause of death as “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction,” according to a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner.
Mayor Bloomberg Tuesday vowed to work with the Orthodox Jewish community to prevent future tragedies.