Friday, November 7, 2014

High Court overules lower court ruling saying Rabbis can't overrule Doctors

Arutz 7   An Israeli couple whom the High Court ruled Wednesday took the advice of a rabbi over that of a doctor is going to have to pay all expenses for care of their paralyzed child out of pocket.

The court ruled in favor of the Meuhedet Health Fund, which refused the couple when they sought care for the child, saying that doctors had informed them that the child would be born paralyzed – and that the couple decided not to terminate the wife's pregnancy on advice of the late Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu z”tl.

According to the fund, a gynecologist who examined the woman told her on her first visit – very early in the pregnancy – that the child would be born with major health problems, and recommended she terminate the pregnancy. The couple then consulted with Rabbi Eliyahu, and decided to keep the child – who was born paralyzed, as diagnosed by the doctor.

The Health Fund refused to pay for care for the child, saying that it was not responsible because the parents did not take the advice of their doctor. The parents sued, claiming that the doctor had not sufficiently explained the dangers to the child, only the damage that could occur to the mother during her pregnancy.

A lower court ruled in favor of the parents, but the health fund appealed, and on Wednesday the High Court ruled in their favor. According to the court, it is unlikely that the doctor did not explain the dangers to the parents, and that they needed to be held responsible for rejecting the doctor's advice. [...]


  1. the article doesnt say what the basis of R' Eliyahu's advice was. Was it an issur on abortion? Did they tell him of the dangers/disabilities? And did he "promise" that the kid would be born healthy?

  2. If you read the Israeli high court opinion, it is more complicated than this article makes it seem. Although the court shows complete derision for rabbinic authority, the legal issues involve informed consent and causation in tort.

  3. Article is wrong.

    See hebrew:

    Parents were suing the Kupah for malpractice, saying they would have aborted had the doctor properly informed them of the potential damage to the baby.

    Court denied the malpractice claim.

    The Kupah never said they wouldn't provide health care, only that they weren't responsible for damages and for the child's support in general.

  4. Things like this remind me that the Israeli establishment are still Commies at heart. In the US, this kind of thing would never happen, and I don't mean just because abortion is so controversial in this country. Even if there would be consensus over the right to have an abortion, no one would ever question the individual's right to choose not to have an abortion.

  5. Was it an issur on abortion?

    It sounds like it.

  6. If the doctor had put what he/she had told the parents into the medical record the story wouldn't read "according to the court, it is unlikely that the doctor did not explain the dangers to the parents."


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