As you read this keep in mind that the beit din is under the control of Satmar's Central Rabbinical Congress, and no investigation they perform is likely to be fair. Their community has already come out strongly against any ban on metzitza b'peh (oral-to-genital-suction during circumcision) and has equated the practice with a mitzva d'orita (a positive commandment from the Torah), making it mandatory during all circumcisions. This is clearly a political deal orchestrated by NYC's mayor in a crass attempt top buy votes. Further, it appears to be illegal, a violation of church-state separation that will be found unconstitutional if challenged in court. NYC infants are supposed to be protected from public health hazards by the city's Department of Health, not by rabbis with a public vested stake in finding the mohel disease-free. Further, none of these rabbinic "experts" have public health training. None have a secular education. None have a science education. And none are competent – or Constitutionally able – to investigate this case.
The only way this deal could be kosher is if the CRC's beit din is investigating ways of doing metzitza (suction) without using the mouth – for example, through a sterile glass tube or with sterile gauze – and if the result of the beit din is metzitza with a sterile tube or the like becoming an approved method for haredi circumcisions and Rabbi Fischer's only method for doing them.
The Journal News reports:
A Monsey rabbi linked to three infants who contracted herpes has agreed to stop performing oral suction circumcisions in New York City until a religious panel investigates the method, the city announced yesterday.
Yitzchok Fischer has been under a temporary restraining order issued by a New York City court not to perform oral-suction circumcisions in the five boroughs. Rockland health officials have placed a separate ban on the rabbi.
Fischer uses his mouth to suction blood from the wound after he removes the foreskin. The centuries-old ritual, called metzizah bi peh, is used by Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Fischer and the circumcision method came under scrutiny when a Manhattan newborn died of herpes in November, and his twin was diagnosed with the virus. A Staten Island newborn circumcised by Fischer was diagnosed with herpes in November.
The strain of herpes found in the infants is transmitted orally.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene had been trying for months in court to stop Fischer from using oral-suction circumcision.
Yesterday, an agency spokeswoman said an agreement had been reached.
"Rabbi Fischer has agreed to stop performing metzizah bi peh in NYC pending an investigation being conducted by the Rabbinical Court of the Central Rabbinical Congress," spokeswoman Sandra Mullin said in a statement.
Fischer's lawyers, Mark J. Kurzmann and his son Hillel M. Kurzmann of Pearl River, said the rabbi agreed to the religious tribunal request.
"Rabbi Fischer has been asked by the rabbinical court to refrain from practicing metzizah bi peh and agreed," Mark Kurzmann said.
Kurzmann said no conclusive medical evidence has been shown that the infants contracted the virus from the rabbi. The rabbi took a herpes test, but the results have not been released by the state or city.
"I remain as convinced as ever that a thorough investigation will confirm that my client was not the source of any of the three unfortunate infections," he said.
The New York state Health Department had rescinded its ban on Fischer and joined New York City's plan for a committee of rabbis and medical personnel to review the oral-suction procedure and come up with guidelines.
Rockland Health Commissioner Joan Facelle was awaiting guidance from the state on how to proceed with the county's ban.