CDC director is Jewish physician who formerly flip-flopped on metzitzah b’peh issue during his tenure as the NYC Health Commissioner.

tom frieden

Let’s ring in the new year with some new knowledge, shall we?  Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC since 2009, is Jewish.  Prior to his role at the CDC, he was New York City’s Health Commissioner.  In this role, he refused to take a strong stance against metzitzah b’peh, the practice among some Jewish communities of the mohel (ritual circumciser) sucking the blood from the wound with his mouth.  Here are some tidbits from a New York Times article:

“This is a very delicate area, so to speak,” said Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden.

“The health department, after the meeting, reiterated that it did not intend to ban or regulate oral suction. But Dr. Frieden has said that the city is taking this approach partly because any broad rule would be virtually unenforceable. Circumcision generally takes place in private homes.”

“Dr. Frieden said the department regarded herpes transmission via oral suction as ‘somewhat inevitable to occur as long as this practice continues, if at a very low rate.'”

“The use of suction to stop bleeding dates back centuries and is mentioned in the Talmud. The safety of direct oral contact has been questioned since the 19th century, and many Orthodox and nearly all non-Orthodox Jews have abandoned it. Dr. Frieden said he hoped the rabbis would voluntarily switch to suctioning the blood through a tube, an alternative endorsed by the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest group of Orthodox rabbis.”

Hoped?  Really?  We have the former New York Health Commissioner “hop[ing]” that rabbis would stop putting children at risk of contracting herpes?  And now this guy is the head of the CDC?  ANYONE ELSE SEE A PROBLEM HERE?

Dr. Frieden was at one time ordered by Mayor Bloomberg to issue a lawsuit against a rabbi responsible for an infant contract herpes.  But after pressure from the Jewish community, the lawsuit was dropped with Frieden saying that his department “has no intention of banning or regulating the practice of metzitzah b’peh.”

Go figure, and Happy New Year, and tell all your friends who actually believe that the CDC is an unbiased source of information regarding male circumcision.

ANOTHER FUN FACT: Dr. Susan Blank assisted Dr. Frieden at the NYC Health Commissioner.  She later served as the Chairperson of the AAP’s Task Force on Circumcision that issued its 2012 statement on circumcision.  Guess what?  Also Jewish.  Not to mention two other members of the 8-person task force, Drs. Andrew Freedman and Steven Wegner.  That makes 3 out of 8, including the Chair.  This is not meant to be anti-Semitic.  Just don’t think for a minute that people in power aren’t influenced by cultural biases just like you and me.

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About notyourstocut

Genital Autonomy For All. Her Body, Her Choice. His Body, His Choice.

12 comments

  1. Ridiculous logic – it’s like saying we shouldn’t ban FGC because it’s done at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. no bias??? I think not. There is something very wrong with a government official not taking s stand to stop this practice. Holy smokes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No bias??? I think there is plenty of bias and a government representative that won’t put a stop to such a practice? Horrible!

    Like

  4. Dr Frieden seems to be repeating the tired mantra that “any broad rule would be virtually unenforceable” with regard to TIC [traditional infant circumcision], specifically MBP [metzitza b’peh]. This apparent conflict of interest, well, is not difficult to see as happening.

    Is it right for him to sit idly by, and not make any attempt to do so? To not even hold medical hearings of those within the sections of jewish community who are responsible for such practices? I say, no. It is not right to simply allow it to occur, moreover its intellectually dishonest.

    Of course, Dr. Frieden is being very ‘religiously correct’, at best; unfortunately, and its to the detriment of children who continue to be subject to this heinous process . . . indeed an insult to injury if ever there was one, as far as risky, needless medical procedures go. The hypocrisy seems quite transparent, not only to the aforementioned, but in how he has approached it with a convenient ‘hands-off’ approach.

    http://forward.com/articles/174081/are-new-york-hospitals-hiding-herpes-from-metzitza/

    I also find it ironic, and quite unfortunate, that in the case of routine male-infant cirucmcision [in general], the guidelines proposed in recent CDC docket#CDC-2014-0012-0001, advocate for further promotion of infant circumcision as a means to curb hiv [yet with little solid evidence to support it, once all claims are sufficiently and independently/impartially examined], while at the same time, the CDC remains unwilling to closely examine and become aware, or take action regarding, the critical fact, that infections of herpes, in fact have been found to be spread by the ‘ultra’-orthodox [talmudic] practice, of m’tzitzah b’peh [meh-tzee-tzah-bih-peh] [as well as creating lifelong trauma for a child – all in the name of *tradition*… and all entirely preventable.

    animal sacrifices used to be tradition, and so was stoning, and other cruel and unusual forms of torture and execution, in biblical days gone by. but most of these have long ago *stopped* being practiced, because – at some point, humans luckily became aware, that such destructive acts, are against our better natures, and harm *everyone* in the end. Yet, incredibly, MBP, and of cousre, RIC and TIC, persist to this day.

    Despite the most vigorous conceptual defense [of what clearly is a direct medical intervention to infants who cannot provide informed consent, let alone for an unsanitary post-surgical process involving oral contact with the baby’s penis] – an idea without logic eventually falls in the end. Its only my hope that, this end come before any more children are harmed, and needlessly at that.

    AF

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  5. Dr. Edward Salm

    I don’t know this guy or his record. But observing from just this article and its points, I have to side with Dr. Frieden. His valid point was there would be no way of enforcing it. You can’t just tell people “no”. (Echoes of Nancy Reagan, “Just say no.” That worked, didn’t it?) He attempted to encourage them to do the right thing. Which do you think might have a better outcome?

    Like

    • The U.S. Congress had no problem saying, “no” to female circumcision. Why shouldn’t boys have the same protection under the law?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Trader D

      So we shouldn’t enforce rape laws because you can’t just tell people not to rape other people? Or since you can’t stop them from raping other people, even if you can catch them later?

      What kind of logic is that? We have laws for a reason. Oral suction is a sexual act performed on a minor, sexual assault, and possibly sexual battery too.

      Like

  6. If we apply medical ethics as they apply it to circumcision to the field of medicine at large, then doctors can force patients to eat dirt against their will until research finds conclusive proof that eating dirt does not work as prevention for every conceivable medical problem and makes everybody people sicker.

    It is universal foundation principle of sound medical ethics to always be biased AGAINST surgical intervention. It is universal foundation of sound medical ethics to be even more biased AGAINST surgical intervention for preventive, rather than therapeutic benefit. It is universal foundation principle of sound medical ethics to be even more biased AGAINST surgical intervention for non-consenting minor patients. We are supposed to be biased against surgical intervention for preventive benefit on non-consenting minors most of all. That is cornerstone of medical ethics that entire system of medical ethics is based on.

    I reiterate, we are not supposed to be unbiased concerning surgical intervention. Medical ethics demands that we be BIASED AGAINST surgical intervention.

    Circumcision is one and only surgery where burden of proof is showing that it DOES NOT have benefit. Every other surgery, burden of proof is on showing that it DOES have benefit. Circumcision is one and only surgery where burden of proof is on showing that it DOES cause harm. Every other surgery, the burden of proof is on showing it DOES NOT cause harm.

    We are supposed to have bias against circumcision same way we are supposed to have bias against every other surgery. Otherwise sane medical ethics of CDC, AMA, AAP, and others goes completely insane, upside down, and inside out with respect to circumcision. Why is that so hard for people to see ?

    Like

  7. Expose all of the charlatans and quacks who are behind the systematic medical fraud and abuse of children’s genitals.

    Like

  8. REV VINCENT

    Frieden is pushing a personal religious agenda which is heinous and unethical.

    Like

  9. Jewish has nothing to do with it. As head of NYC Health, Frieden simply failed to protect children from avoidable exposure to herpes – which is very common in adults but which can be fatal to newborns – and some kids died. That he should now head the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control is a sad joke. Obama blew this appointment.

    Like

  10. Its very clear Frieden’s cultural bias is why CDC is recommending circumcision of all males. I think this kind of advocacy in US government should be banned. Its very clear why CDC is doing what it is. Circumcision cannot reduce the spread of HIV and its an insult to Africans to export male circumcision as a health gifted benefit. The outside world acknowledges Frieden for what he is, a bigot.

    Liked by 1 person

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