Another Baby Dies Due To Ritual Circumcision

Another Baby Dies Due To Ritual Circumcision March 6, 2012

I wish that I did not have to post things like this.  I’ve already written about my objections to circumcision.  It’s non-consensual, risky and irreversible.  But there’s circumcision and there’s circumcision and the kind of “b’rit milah” that is conducted with the tradition of “metzizah b’peh,” sucking the blood out direcly by mouth, carries risks beyond any other.

And once again, it’s resulted in the death of an infant:

The unidentified infant died Sept. 28, 2011, at Maimonides Hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner, who confirmed the death after a News inquiry.

The cause of death was listed as “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction.”

Mayor Bloomberg Tuesday defended that finding.

“The doctors who found this are objective and independent scientists who don’t answer to anyone, including whoever is Mayor,” he told reporters at an unrelated event in The Bronx.

This is a version of ritual circumcision that is practiced by some Haredi Jews despite there being ways to do it indirectly so no bodily fluids flow back.

I understand that banning circumcision may be a bridge too far right now, but this practice must cease.


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  • So sick. Have Haredi parents ever sued for infant death due to this practice? Something tells me that if infant death isn’t a good deterrent, jail time/court fees etc., might be. Though IMO “metzizah b’peh” should be banned altogether.

  • SR

    your heading says “another” and I was curious to know how often this actually happens. Not that any of these babies should die, but it seems like this doesn’t get much press and I was wondering if that is because it reflects poorly on Jews and they try to hush it up or if it is pretty rare.