The March 23 news story “Two Babies Sickened by Circumcision Rite,” followed up on the recent story of a death from herpes associated with ritual circumcision in New York last September. These are totally preventable tragedies.
It is disturbing that with today’s global blood-borne epidemics of not only herpes, but also HIV and Hepatitis B, there is no public health regulation of the skills, training, infectious disease control and adherence to universal precautions for those who circumcise outside a hospital. Unless mandatory medical regulations are introduced for all mohels, these blood-borne viruses will continue to spread. There must be a clear bridge between religious law and invasive health care procedures in ritual circumcision, where medical regulation of this procedure is clearly appropriate.
Palm Beach, Fla.
The writer is the founder and chairman of the International Board of the Sanford Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.