Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Euthanasia now legal in Israel

Jerusalem Post:

A government bill - six years in the making - that will allow the terminally ill to die in dignity without being forced to be kept alive by artificial means was passed on its third and final reading by the Knesset plenum on Tuesday in a 22 to three vote, with one abstention...
At the last moment, Degel Hatorah MK Moshe Gafni tried to weaken the bill by saying that only terminally ill patients who have a month or less to live - instead of the stipulated six months - could be covered by its provisions, but his view was rejected. (To read about how halacha views euthanasia, click
A delayed-response timer built into a patient's respirator will be the main solution to the problem of how to let the terminally ill end their lives with dignity.
The recommendations that formed the basis for the bill were prepared by a 58-member public committee of physicians, scientists, medical ethicists, social workers, philosophers, nurses, lawyers, judges and clergymen representing the main religions in Israel.
The committee, which heard testimony and met for two years, was headed by Prof. Avraham Steinberg, an Orthodox rabbi, pediatric neurologist, medical ethicist and winner of the Israel Prize for his encyclopedic work on Jewish medical ethics. "I am very satisfied with the bill. It is very balanced and will offer answers in all situations," he told The Jerusalem Post.
If requested in a living will or by a person chosen to decide on his behalf, a terminally ill patient who is over the age of 17 could ask that his life not be extended by artificial means.
The withholding of nutrition and active euthanasia would not be permitted because they violate Halacha but the legislation - which will come into effect within a year - will allow the halting of ongoing support using the timer device. No longer would families have to turn to a court for specific permission to halt artificial means for keeping terminal patients alive against their will.
The timer - based on the idea of the "Shabbat clock" used in religious Jewish homes to turn electrical devices on and off on Saturday and festivals - would operate for 24 hours at a time and set off a red light or alarm after 12...
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 2:38 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From inside information, the bill had the backing of prominent Chareidi Rabbis, who chose to be anonymous so that the kannoim will not try to throw stones at them (see what happened to R' Shteinman).

In reality, euthenasia was going on for a long time in Israel - all that was necessary was to get a left wing judge to agree with it. Now, there is a law that decides how and if it should be done - and there are halakhic ways to do it if and when it is necessary

4:05 AM  

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