There is growing concern about metzitzah b’peh, an ancient circumcision practice used by only ultra-Orthodox Jews. It involves direct oral suction of the circumcision wound, and has recently been implicated in the death of infants who were infected by herpes. In New York City, health officials passed a regulation requiring parents to provide signed informed consent before allowing their child to take part in metzitzah b’peh.
While Dena S. Davis, professor of bioethics at Lehigh University, believes an outright ban of metzitzah b'peh is a better response to a practice that is dangerous to children, she says a ban might prove unconstitutional under New York State law.
She recently was interviewed for dugdug.com about her research on the topic and about her latest paper for the Journal of Medical Ethics: "Ancient Rites and New Laws: How Should We Regulate Religious Circumcision of Minors?"
Read the full interview here.