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NEW YORK: District Attorney Investigating Death Of Baby Who Got Herpes During Jewish Ritual Circumcision

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The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is investigating the death of a two-week old boy who perished at a Brooklyn hospital in September after contracting herpes through a controversial religious circumcision ritual.

unidentified infant died Sept. 28, 2011, at Maimonides Hospital after Jewish ritual circumcision“We are looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of this child,” said Brooklyn DA spokesman Jerry Schmetterer.

The unidentified infant died Sept. 28, 2011, at Maimonides Hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner, who confirmed the death after a News inquiry.

The cause of death was listed as “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction.”

Mayor Bloomberg Tuesday defended that finding.

“The doctors who found this are objective and independent scientists who don’t answer to anyone, including whoever is Mayor,” he told reporters at an unrelated event in The Bronx.

“One more point: There’s probably nobody in public life who fights harder for the separation of church and state than me. But religious liberty simply does not extend to injuring others or putting children at risk," Bloomberg continued. "So we’ll continue working with the community and others to prevent more baby boys from suffering these tragic fates.”

In 2004, city health officials revealed that a baby boy died after a circumcision carried out by a Rockland County rabbi who specializes in the centuries-old, ultra-Orthodox ritual known as metzizah b’peh.

Under the practice, the rabbi or mohel removes blood from the wound with his mouth — a practice city health officials have criticized, saying it carries “inherent risks” for babies.

Religious rabbis in other major cities have voluntary banned the practice, instead using a straw or other type of indirect suction.

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2012/03/brooklyn-district-attorney-investigating-death-of-baby-who-got-herpes-during-r