Penn Med could not be clearer – Agudath Israel of America used an internal Penn Med study without permission, took it out of context and misrepresented what the study found – in other words, the rabbis and gedolim of Agudah lied. Here is Penn Med's statement in full.
Statement from the University of Pennsylvania Health System April 15, 2013
A review of available scientific peer-reviewed literature developed by our Center for Evidence-based Practice for physician information was recently cited by plaintiffs in a legal action against the New York City Health Department. The unpublished report was used without our knowledge or consent and importantly, without proper context. Further, a subsequent press release mischaracterized our review by implying that there is no causal relationship between circumcision performed with oral suction and the transmission of neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) when the full report on the existing evidence concluded this link does exist. Since our literature review, a February 2013 study published in the Pediatric Journal of Infectious Diseases, Koren et al, also supported this link based on transmission cases seen in Israel. In both our literature review and this latest peer-reviewed publication, the limitations of available evidence highlight the need for additional research, but because neonatal HSV can cause severe, life-altering illness or death in newborns, any risk factor that might expose a newborn to significant infection should be considered. It is regrettable that our evidence review was manipulated for purposes other than advising physicians of important clinical risk factors for newborns.
Update 2:49 pm CDT – I asked Penn Med's Susan Phillips who had requested the literature review from the Center for Evidence-based Medicine. She told me that, "these are internal (Penn only) doctor to doctor requests for literature reviews," but refused to tell me the name(s) of the doctor(s) who requested it.
Since Penn Med refuses to be transparent, it seems likely that whoever actually requested this review is linked to Agudath Israel.