The authority, responsibilities and limitations of paramedics must be set down
in law, Kadima MK and physician Rachel Adatto said on Sunday.
spoke after the family of actor and producer Doron Nesher charged that Magen
David Adom ambulance staffers refused to evacuate him from his home after he
suffered a stroke. MDA countered that it it was Nesher who refused to be taken
to the hospital.
His family took him by car to Meir Medical Center in
Kfar Saba after – they claimed – MDA refused to take him to a
When it became clear that he needed intensive care, he was
transferred to the Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva. Nesher
was reportedly in very serious condition.
Adatto said that MDA paramedics
are often in a dilemma. About 20 percent of all patients who need to be
evacuated to hospital refuse to be taken. Thus, if the patient needs urgent
medical care and refuses to be hospitalized, the paramedic is on the one hand
exposed to lawsuits regarding inadequate treatment if he does not evacuate the
patient, and on the other hand may be exposed to lawsuits if he acts against the
The Patients’ Rights Law (1996) gives the individual
autonomy over his body and health. If the patient is unconscious and unaware of
his condition, he can be hospitalized without permission being
Adatto previously initiated a bill that would allow forced
hospitalization of anorexic adults if their lives were endangered without care.
If the bill, which passed a preliminary vote in the Knesset, becomes law, people
who starve themselves would have to be hospitalized. At present, only minors in
this situation can be hospitalized against their will.