August 22, 1997 in Nation/World

That Male Ritual


Mohels, the practitioners of the ancient Jewish rite of circumcision, appear to inflict less pain on their subjects than do most physicians, possibly because of the tools they use, said researcher Dr. Hema M. DeSilva, above, director of neonatology at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn. In a study involving 48 newborn boys, the Mogen clamp used by mohels, right, was found to be much quicker to deploy and less painful than the Gomco device, left, favored by most doctors. Boys circumcised with a Mogen had less than half the heart rate increase and total crying time of infants circumcised with a Gomco.

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