The de Blasio administration will do away with the policy that required a mohel to obtain a written consent form from parents before performing Metzitzah B’Peh, the circumcision ritual that involves the mohel sucking blood from the wounded penis.
The city’s health department has for years linked the practice to neonatal herpes, citing four cases in 2014.
But the consent forms, which were put in place in 2012, offended members of certain Orthodox Jewish sects who rejected the link and found the forms to be an impingement on their religious freedom.
During the campaign, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to address the consent form and find a new way that respected religious freedom.
In exchange for abandoning the consent forms, the coalition of rabbis negotiating with City Hall agreed that if a baby is diagnosed with HSV-1, the community would identify the mohel in question and ask him to undergo testing. If the mohel tests positive for HSV-1, the city’s health department will test the DNA of the strain to see if it matches the infant’s.