'Doctors refusing to treat hunger striker leave us 2 choices: Let him go or let him die'

Gilad Erdan says the decision of the ethics committee to allow the doctors to inspect the prisoner fall within the lines of the Patients Rights Law.

August 10, 2015 13:50
1 minute read.
hunger strkide

Maazouze, the mother of Mohammed Allaan, a Palestinian prisoner who is on a long-term hunger strike, holds a portrait of her son during a rally calling for his release.. (photo credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)


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Members of Knesset butted heads on Monday in response to rumors that Mohammad Allaan, a Palestinian prison who has been on a hunger strike for 55 days, was transferred from the Soroka University Medical center in Beersheba for possible force feeding treatment.

MK Basel Ghattas (The Joint List) sent an urgent letter to the Barzilai Medical Center imploring the administration to refuse to implement the new force feeding law.

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"It appears that the doctors [at Saroka Medical Center] thought the situation would be different at Barzilai and that the doctors would agree to force feed the prisoner and participate in an act of torture," wrote Ghattas. "I appeal to you to stop Barzilai Medical Center from becoming the Israeli Guantanamo where it is permissible to torture prisoners when all other hospitals refuse."

In his letter, Ghattas requests that the administration keep to the medical code of ethics and refuse to force feed the prisoner because "if not, the hospital and its doctors are liable to international sanctions and boycotts by human rights organizations and medical institutions and will face claims of participation in the act of torturing prisoners."

Interior Minister Gilad Erdan took to Twitter in response to Ghattas' claims that the prisoner had been transferred to undergo force feeding treatments.

"At this time the medical treatment on Muhammad Allaan falls under the realm of patients rights and is not connected to the new [force feeding] law," he tweeted. "The medical ethics committee has investigated the matter and approved the inspection of [the prisoner's] condition and treatment as needed according to the doctor's diagnosis. I expect the doctors of the hospital to respect the decision of the ethics committee and the consideration used to come to this decision."

The ethics committee permitted the treatment of the patient against his will in accordance with the Patients Rights Law. The doctors at Barzilai were refusing on Monday to examine the patient in accordance with the ruling of the committee.

"According to the Israel Medical Association there are only two options regarding an Islamic Jihadist prisoner: let him go, or let him die. This is unfortunately the outcome of the pressure that has been placed on the doctors," wrote Erdan.

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