Dr. Leonid Edelman.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel Medical Association chairman Prof. Leonid Eidelman has been elected to serve as president of the World Medical Association (WMA), an umbrella body representing national medical associations with more than nine million members around the world.
Representatives of the WMA gathered last weekend in Chicago for its annual meeting, during which the elections were held for its next president. Eidelman received more than two-thirds of the votes against Finland’s Dr. Heikki Palve.
Eidelman will take office a year from now.
He is an expert in intensive care and anesthesia and also manages the anesthesiology department at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva.
He has served in various positions on the WMA Council.
Israel is often under international attack, including repeated threats to oust its medical organizations from international bodies including the WMA last year, Eidelman said, adding: “It is very important that an Israeli physician is chosen for this most prestigious position in the medical world and have an influence on the most important decisions regarding doctors’ rules of conduct, medical ethics and more.”
Since it was founded in 1947, a central objective of the WMA has been to establish and promote the highest possible standards of ethical behavior and care by physicians as well as fight for human rights.
Over the years, it has adopted global policy statements on a range of ethical issues related to medical professionalism, patient care, research on human subjects and public health.
The organization also has is committed to act for the prevention of all forms of torture, including force-feeding of prisoners, and ill-treatment and the availability of health care and affordable, timely access to health care as a human right. The WMA has also acted to promote a global network of continuing medical education courses.
The WMA adopted a new version of the Hippocratic Oath at a session on the Geneva Declaration; previously, it drafted and updated the Helsinki Declaration, which sets out rules for conducting medical research on humans.