Hella Winston reports in The Jewish Week:
…The [United States Centers for Disease Control] report also notes that one [haredi] family whose child was infected [with Herpes through mitzitzah b'peh (MbP), the firect oral-to-genital suction done by the mohel to the baby's bleeding penis during the circumcision] chose to use the same mohel on another son three years later, who also became infected. Further, according to the report, in the case of an infant who died this past September, “the parents would not directly answer questions about whether direct orogenital suction occurred.” However, The Jewish Week obtained recordings of conversations involving family members of the deceased infant that indicated that MbP was in fact a part of the bris ceremony and that the mother planned to use the same mohel again if she were to have another son.
Since the death of an infant in 2004 from herpes contracted from a mohel who practiced MbP, the ritual has been a source of conflict between city health officials and the politically powerful ultra-Orthodox community, some segments of which believe that MbP is integral to the bris. While the practice has never been outlawed by the city, in 2007 the New York State health department banned one mohel, Yitzchok Fischer, from engaging in it (The Jewish Week obtained information indicating that Fischer may have violated the ban).…
Winston's report also notes that attorneys and legal scholars – like YU's Marci Hamilton – say the NYC Department of Health's proposal to have parents sign an informed consent waiver before MBP is done serves to indemnify the mohels – not to reduce the dangerous procedure.
“The proposed policy is a contractual maneuver to shift liability for endangering the infant from the mohel to the parents,” said Marci Hamilton, a leading church-state scholar and professor at the Cardozo School of Law.
“Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg appears to be more concerned about sugary drinks than he is about an infant contracting herpes, which is potentially fatal,” Hamilton told The Jewish Week, adding that “oral suction should be banned regardless of politics and religious identity.”
Related Post: MBP Herpes Risk 3.4 Times Greater, CDC Report Finds.