A. Romi Cohn, an Orthodox Jew who is the head of the American Board of Ritual Circumcision and estimates he has conducted about 25,000 circumcisions in his lifetime, said he had never used the consent form. He added that he did not believe the roughly 80 other mohelim affiliated with the association had either.
Above: A. Romi Cohn doing MBP on a baby in 2012
MBP transmitted herpes and other diseases over the past two centuries has easily killed and maimed hundreds if not thousands of babies.
Haredim, however, refuse to stop doing MBP anyway, falsely claiming it is an integral part of the mitzvah of circumcision.
As you know, New York City enacted an informed consent requirement for MBP in 2012. Haredim are fighting that in court and the Times reports the De Blasio administration and haredim are close to a new deal that would likely eliminate it – no surprise since the ethically challeneged de Blasio openly promised Satmar hasidim that he would drop the informed consent requirement in exchange for their bloc votes.
Under de Blasio, who has been in office for a year, the city has essentially done nothing to enforce the informed consent requirement, even though it is the law, a law haredi mohels openly – openly – admit breaking:
…Through the legal wrangling, the regulation has remained in effect, though apparently seldom followed. A. Romi Cohn, an Orthodox Jew who is the head of the American Board of Ritual Circumcision and estimates he has conducted about 25,000 circumcisions in his lifetime, said he had never used the consent form. He added that he did not believe the roughly 80 other mohelim affiliated with the association had either.
Mr. Cohn, 85, says he believes that when properly conducted according to the God-given tradition, the ritual is safe. His association mandates annual herpes testing and other precautions, like having mohelim rinse with antiseptic mouthwash before the ritual.
“We do it because Hashem commands us, and because it’s healthy and necessary,” he said, using a Hebrew word referring to God, after conducting a bris, or circumcision ceremony, last month at a synagogue in Midwood, Brooklyn. “Whenever God tells us to do something, it is to our benefit.”
The newborn that Mr. Cohn circumcised that morning, Yeoshua Setareh, was the third boy in the family whom he had circumcised. The father, Bijan Setareh, is a dermatologist.
“If our rabbi says do it, we do it with a closed eye,” Mr. Setareh said of why he approved of the ritual. Limor Setareh, his wife, said, “We believe that it’s a divine thing, and if it’s a divine thing, it doesn’t change with time.”
Mr. Cohn does give out a consent form warning that circumcision, like any medical procedure, has risks, but it does not mention oral suction. Rabbi Shimon Hess, another well-known ultra-Orthodox mohel, said he drew up his own form in response to the Bloomberg regulation. It stated, he said: “I am knowledgeable that New York City says metzitzah b’peh is dangerous. However, I trust the Talmud, and that the Talmud says that not to do metzitzah b’peh is dangerous.”
The health department has never tried to collect consent forms en masse. Enforcement, it said when the regulation passed, would be only in the case of a complaint or a suspected case of herpes.
“Its self-enforcement essentially,” said Sam Miller, a spokesman for the department. “We are not going around to brises.”…
“We feel very strongly that the goal ought to be, ‘Let’s get rid of any formal, governmental regulation,' ” said Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive director of Agudath Israel, a powerful ultra-Orthodox umbrella group that is among those suing over the consent requirement, and whose cooperation would be crucial to a new rule’s success. “Once you acknowledge this is subject to governmental regulation, then you have taken the first step in a journey which could easily lead to an outright ban of the practice, which is a scary thought.”
In New York City, if your bloc vote is large enough and the mayor is corrupt enough, you can kill and maim a few babies with impunity.