Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Judge Rules that Hospital Must Rescind Death Certificate for Orthodox Patient

A judge has ruled that Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital must rescind a death certificate that it issued for an Orthodox Jewish patient some three weeks before his death. The decision could have far-reaching effects for religious groups and the obligation of hospitals and medical professionals to accommodate their beliefs, especially regarding “end of life” policies.
The patient, Yechezkel Nakar, z”l, was niftar in the spring of 2017 and the legal fight over what his family perceived as an illegitimately issued death certificate began soon after. The suit gained wide media attention, but a ruling was only issued this past Friday for what Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Devin Cohen only identified as “technical reasons,” according to the Nakar family’s attorney Morton Avigdor.
The delay aside, Mr. Avigdor said the ruling was “terrific.”
“This is a clear and very strongly worded legal recognition of the responsibility of hospitals to accommodate religious beliefs,” he told Hamodia. “This is not just about one hospital, it will affect all of the city and likely beyond, who will have to rethink the way they treat religious rights.”
Against the objections of the patient’s family, the hospital had conducted tests to show if Mr. Nakar, who was unconscious after suffering a stroke, was wh

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