Sunday, December 18, 2005

Things You Learn From Saturday Night Live


December 14, 2005 -- In a highly unusual move, the city's health commissioner has issued an "open letter" to the Jewish community urging that it stop an ancient circumcision practice that has infected seven infants with herpes.
Most mohels, men trained to perform the circumcision, remove blood from the baby using a sterile gauze pad, sponge or rubber suction bulb.

But some Orthodox parents insist on a "suction by mouth" method, in which the mohel puts his mouth to the wound.

"There is no reasonable doubt that the practice of metzitzah b'peh [suction by mouth] has infected several infants in New York City with the herpes virus, including one child who died and another who has evidence of brain damage," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden.