The New York City Board of Health last week recklessly decided to abandon the only inadequate restriction it had over controversial ritual Jewish circumcision. The board […] voted last week to repeal its requirement of informed consent for circumcisions during which the circumciser sucks blood from the newly cut penis with his mouth.
[…] this practice can expose infants to herpes simplex virus, which can lead to fatal encephalitis and other complications. In at least two instances, this practice has resulted in the newborn’s death. Two other infants have suffered brain damage(1). Others deal with a chronic, lifelong infection that causes painful lesions.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation in February 2014 wrote the board, calling the informed consent requirement inadequate, asking the NYC Board of Health instead to prohibit this child abuse. […]
The free exercise of religion protected by our Constitution does not include the right to endanger the health and life of helpless infants. […] Religion is not an excuse to infect an infant with a possibly fatal and definitely incurable disease. Society must protect its most vulnerable citizens.
Any mutilation of a child’s body without valid medical justification must be banned. Religious beliefs are no excuse.