Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer, the mohel (ritual circumciser) involved in the New York controversy over metzitza b'peh (oral to genital suction during circumcision) wants to be free to practice MBP in Rockland county.
As you read this, remember that all governments involved are forbidden by law from discussing anything about Rabbi Fischer's health – including his herpes test. Also note that the test referred to appears to be Rabbi Fischer's original test, performed by his friend and doctor under uncontrolled circumstances. Rabbi Fischer has consistently refused to cooperate with city and county authorities or to submit to a controlled test for herpes. Again, the state, county and city are not allowed to discuss Rabbi Fischer's refusal because of Federal privacy law. If the case is brought to a trial, those records may become public. Rabbi Fischer could also allow NYC and Rockland county to release the details of the test. Rabbi Fischer has refused to do so.
The JournalNews reports:
… Fischer underwent a herpes test, but the city has not released the results or commented on the type of test given to the rabbi. The state Health Department received the results through a subpoena, but also will not comment on them.
Fischer's lawyer, Mark J. Kurzmann of Pearl River, said yesterday that "there has been no conclusive medical evidence that the infants contracted the virus from the rabbi."
Kurzmann said the rabbi performed oral-suction circumcisions on two of the three infants, both of whom had rashes beforehand and had visited a doctor. Oral-suction circumcisions were done on the twins. Oral suction was not done on the third baby, Kurzmann said.
"If there was a definitive conclusion that my client infected any child, he would be the first one to stop," Kurzmann said. "And Jewish law would mandate he stop."
Kurzmann recently asked Rockland Health Commissioner Dr. Joan Facelle to lift the ban, which she ordered in February. Kurzmann based his request on the state Health Department's decision.
Facelle said recently she remained concerned about the potential health risks the procedure imposes. She said her department has not received any reports of herpes in infants.
She will respond to Kurzmann by the end of this month, hoping to receive guidance from the state.
"This procedure poses a real potential health risk and doesn't follow infection control standards," she said.
Facelle said neither the state nor the city has informed her if tests on the rabbi showed he had herpes and any link to the children.
"In the absence of science, we are dealing with one particular individual, not the practice," she said. "I don't know if we can sustain the order. I am hoping for some guidance from the state."…