MDA denies responsibility for leaking Topaz death before family informed

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August 20, 2009 15:44
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Magen David Adom denied on Thursday that it was the first to inform journalists that Dudu Topaz had committed suicide. MDA spokesman Yerucham Mendola said that the Israel Prisons Service's medical staff performed resuscitation and called MDA. "We were there within five minutes and joined the resuscitation effort with the IPS doctors," said Mendola. "The IPS issued a statement to police reporters about the condition of the prisoner who attempted suicide at the Ramle prison and about efforts to resuscitate him. Only after Topaz died did MDA inform journalists that it works with that the man who attempted suicide at the Ramle prison had died. We did not name him. We stated in our messages to journalists several times that they must hold publication until after the family were informed. Deciding whether to announce the death of a person by name before the family is told is the responsibility of the media and their journalistic ethics," Mendola concluded. However, several news organizations, including The Jerusalem Post, received a beeper alert at around 8 am on Thursday morning saying the entertainer was being treated after a suicide attempt. Several minutes later, a beeper alert said Topaz had died, and finally a beeper message requested that journalists withhold the information until Topaz's family are informed.

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