Jan 11, 2013
Judge Won't Block Bris Law

A Manhattan federal judge refused to block a New York City regulation requiring people who perform Metzitzah B’Peh to first obtain written consent from the parents.

Reuters

A Manhattan federal judge refused to block a New York City regulation requiring people who perform Metzitzah B’Peh to first obtain written consent from the parents.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on Thursday refused to issue a preliminary injunction against the change to the city’s health code, which some members of the city’s Orthodox Jewish communities called an unwarranted government intrusion on religious freedom.

In September, the New York City Board of Health voted to require mohels, who perform circumcisions, to obtain advance consent that tells parents about the risk of a potentially fatal herpes infection linked to the ritual of metzitzah b’peh, or MBP.

Enforcement of the regulation was put on hold until Buchwald could rule on the request by the Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada, the International Bris Association and some rabbis for a preliminary injunction.
In court papers filed in October, they said the regulation improperly singled out an exclusively religious ritual, and violated the free speech and free exercise protections within the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
But in a 93-page decision, Buchwald refused to halt enforcement of the regulation, and said the plaintiffs’ claims were likely to be found without merit.

“There is ample medical evidence that direct oral suction places infants at a serious risk of herpes infection, as well as evidence that parents are sometimes unaware in advance of a circumcision that MBP will occur, and the regulation plainly addresses these legitimate societal concerns,” Buchwald wrote.

“As enacted, the regulation does no more than ensure that parents can make an informed decision” whether to consent, she added.
Shay Dvoretzky, a partner at Jones Day representing the plaintiffs, was not immediately available for comment.

The city welcomed the decision. “Informing parents about the grave risks associated with this procedure is critical to safeguarding infants’ health,” Michelle Goldberg-Cahn, a senior lawyer for the city, said in a statement.
New York City said it plans to begin enforcing the consent requirement even if litigation continues.

City health officials on Thursday said at least 11 infant boys have in the last several years contracted a potentially fatal form of herpes following circumcision with direct oral suction, and that two of the boys died.
Opponents of the regulation have said the health department had not proven a higher incidence of neonatal herpes among boys who had received direct oral suction.


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Opinions and Comments
1
Dovid
It's a consent form. Sheesh.
(1/11/2013 10:48:14 AM)
2
I just read the entire Ruling
The judge wrote a very very compelling ruling. It will be very very hard to overturn.
(1/11/2013 11:01:05 AM)
3
Nu nu
Can't say I'm surprised. Hopefully, the 2nd Circuit will overturn this law.
(1/11/2013 11:57:23 AM)
4
No big deal.
So you'el get some more chances to practice your signutue. Nu! That no big deal - unlike Bloomberg would like it to be.
(1/11/2013 12:40:18 PM)
5
Jew v Non
We couldnt get a Goy judge on the bench? No doubt, would have quashed it. Leave it to the liberal Jews....
(1/11/2013 12:40:40 PM)
6
Dovid
"this is the first step of the overstepping of the boundaries by the government"

Americans casted their ballots for big government. Now it's time to pay for it.
(1/11/2013 3:14:05 PM)
7
#6, indeed
And one more point: commenters #1 and #4 will be singing a different tune the first time that Child Protective Services decides to remove a child from their parents on the basis of their having signed such a form and knowingly exposed their children to danger.

Then again, maybe not - more likely people like that will continue to make excuses, much like you can find historians who claim that the Roman gezeiros against circumcision were simply a public health measure...
(1/11/2013 3:42:38 PM)
8
To #6
MOST Poskim hold it's OK skip metzitizah v'peh. In any case we can always make our own pamphlet's, detailing why we think it's safe and why it might be against halacha to skip it.

Regarding your second point. I agree with you 99%. I don't think it's the government's business, telling us how we should do bris millah.
(1/12/2013 6:10:27 PM)
9
mrs,bracha levertov
Himmel geshray!, everyone should be extremely alarmed anbout this !!! It is the goverment mixing into time honored tradition. Maybe 4kids got infected and died MAYBE from a mohel had herpes.h ow many died from car accidents every second. Do they outlaw cars? They should develope some swab to test mohalim before each bris. The big p roblem is that b.h. Almost every jewish parent gives their kid a bris( even non reli giuos ones) now they will hear that there is a danger involved, without too much thought they will skip the bris.
(1/12/2013 8:10:20 PM)
10
#1 double sheesh
it's a concent form. And if chas vshalom something (herpes or another tragic occurance L"A) occurs, you don't think the parents will be hauled into court for child endagerment, "knowing full well that they were endangering the welfare of their child" Sheesh
(1/12/2013 8:12:29 PM)
11
a bunch of liberals
Self-hating, Torah disclaming, liberal Jews. And some are not even Jews - just the offspring of a self-hating Jew who couldn't withhold his passion from a shiksa.
If I was still young enough to have a child, I would pray for another baby boy, Just so I could have him Circumscised with Metzitzah B’Peh, just like was done for all my sons. Chas v'shalom if even one mother is intimidated and refuses Metzitzah B’Peh.
(1/12/2013 8:18:38 PM)
12
soviet union
so we'r back to the "alte tzaytin" - back to the underground bris milois
(1/12/2013 8:29:01 PM)
13
Land of the Free
About freedom after choosing, is the question.
1) It seems there is litigation in the pipeline - "good citizen's" litigation - prompting the city and child services to investigate the "unexpected concern" of evaluating "quality of parenting".
2) What if these non-male Judges and Lawyers needed to rule and comment on islamic circumcision particulars
(1/12/2013 9:35:25 PM)
14
It's not just another form
Any of us reading this on COL won't have a problem signing such a consent form, the real problem is will secular Jews consent to a have a proper bris after reading the form?
(1/12/2013 11:45:27 PM)
15
Shabbos
And what happens if the bris is on Shabbos and nothing was signed before Shabbos?
(1/14/2013 9:07:01 PM)
16
Never knew
As a Lubavitch FFB girl, i NEVER knew this takes place at a bris at all and would never allow it on my sons.
(1/15/2013 12:55:10 PM)
17
mori
it is not just a religious practice, it is also a healthy one to have a bris
(5/8/2013 3:28:54 PM)
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