Judge Blocks Circumcision Rite Form for Now

A temporary restraining order against New York delayed the start of a new informed consent requirement for a controversial circumcision rite.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in New York ordered the stay of implementing the required warning to parents of the dangers of metzitzah b’peh, a ritual in which the circumciser uses his mouth to draw blood from the baby’s penis.

The informed consent requirement was scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 21, but the stay delays the implementation until Nov. 14, the date of the next court hearing.

The Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada, the International Bris Association and several individual circumcisers filed a lawsuit on Oct. 11 against the city, which contends that the regulation, which conditions the ritual on parental consent, is unconstitutional and violates religious freedom by targeting a Jewish practice.

Under the rule, parents must sign a consent form that says the health department advises that “direct oral suction should not be performed” because of the risk of contracting herpes.

At least 11 boys contracted herpes from the practice between 2004 and 2011, according to city health officials. Two of them died from the disease and two others suffered brain damage, they said.

Using oral suction to take blood from the area of the circumcision wound is common in some of New York’s haredi Orthodox Jewish communities.

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Judge Blocks Circumcision Rite Form for Now

Thank you!

This article has been sent!