Eight days after being hospitalized, the baby boy who lost consciousness immediately after being circumcised has died. The cause of death is still unclear, but apparently is not connected to the circumcision itself.
Jewish tradition mandates that boys be circumcised at eight days old in a ritual known as "brit milah."
The Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon reported that the infant had been hospitalized "in very serious condition of near brain death."
The birth of the boy, born to an ultra-Orthodox family from Bat Yam, was entirely normal, in the 38th week of pregnancy. At eight days of age, he was duly circumcised. About 30 minutes after the circumcision, when his mother tried to nurse him, the family noticed that he had stopped breathing and he was rushed to hospital.
The hospital spoke with the mohel who performed the circumcision to determine whether the child had been given any sedatives or anesthetics that could have caused an allergic reaction, or whether any excessive bleeding had been spotted. Both possibilities were ruled out.
The speculation that the boy had suffered from an undetected congenital heart defect was also ruled out, as was the possibility that he had choked to death after being fed.
The prevalent assumption among the medical staff who treated the child was that he had suffered from an undiagnosed metabolic or endocrine disorder, though no one was sure what had caused the boy's death. His family reportedly refused to allow an autopsy.
"This is a very sad incident," said a friend of the family, identified only as Abraham. "We pray that this couple will have more children soon."