The Brooklyn DA is now "looking into the circumstances surrounding the death" of a two-week old infant who died last fall in Brooklyn after he contracted herpes from a religious circumcision at Maimonides Medical Center. When the boy died in September his cause of death was listed as "disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction."
Despite concerns this is the government singling out a religious ceremony in the death certificate, the Bloomberg administration is defending the doctors and the DA for taking a look at the case. As Mayor Bloomberg put it at an unrelated event today:
The doctors who found this are objective and independent scientists who don’t answer to anyone, including whoever is Mayor...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. So we’ll continue working with the community and others to prevent more baby boys from suffering these tragic fates.
Over the years there have been quite a few tragedies connected to the foreskin-snipping ritual—and not just related to herpes-infected mohels. Last year, a Queens toddler who went into Beth Israel Hospital for a routine circumcision died after he was given a general anesthetic instead of a local one.