New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has delayed plans to repeal the city’s informed consent requirement for metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the dangerous direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking done by many haredi mohels after cutting off the baby’s foreskin – likely because it did not have the votes on the Board of Health to pass the repeal.
Repeal Of Informed Consent Requirement For Dangerous Haredi Circumcision Practice Delayed
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has delayed plans to repeal the city’s informed consent requirement for metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the dangerous direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking done by many haredi mohels after cutting off the baby’s foreskin – likely because it did not have the votes on the Board of Health to pass the repeal, the Wall Street Journal reported tonight.
MBP transmits various STDs and illnesses including herpes to babies, and at least 17 infants have been sickened over the past decade in New York City alone. Two of those infants have serious brain damage. Two others died.
Historically, MBP caused waves of deaths of babies and was banned – often by rabbis – in much of Western and some of Central Europe in the 19th Century. But even when babies died, hasidim and non-hasidic Hungarian haredim refused to ban the practice. Their descendants make up the core of opposition to the city informed consent requirement today.
Last month, de Blasio’s administration announced an agreement with haredim to scrap the informed consent requirement in favor of a voluntary testing regime that would only be implemented after a particular baby fell ill for the mohel who did that circumcision.
The proposal to scrap the informed consent requirement and to adopt the very flawed haredi compromise was supposed to be presented to the Board of Health this month for a vote, but likely would not pass.
So de Blasio’s administration delayed the vote until June.
“The administration and the coalition of religious leaders are formalizing specific terms of the agreement around metzitzah b’peh,” the city said in a statement from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to explain the sudden delay.
A person familiar with the negotiations between haredim and the city told the Wall Street Journal today the delay is primarily related to the city working out the specifics on how public health investigations will be conducted. There were also some other legal issues that factored into the delay, the person reportedly said.
Another person familiar with the details of what is taking place told the Wall Street Journal city officials were concerned about rushing the vote because the de Blasio administration is asking board members, many of whom are Bloomberg appointees, to reverse themselves.