Emaciated Toldot Aharon 3-year-old doesn't have cancer, Hadassah insists

Hospital attributes boy's condition to mother's mental illness.

July 16, 2009 22:34
1 minute read.
Emaciated Toldot Aharon 3-year-old doesn't have cancer, Hadassah insists

starved kid 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The three-and-a-half-year-old Jerusalem boy whose mother allegedly neglected and starved him until he weighed only seven kilos does not have cancer and has not received chemotherapy, the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) declared on Thursday. HMO issued its forceful statement to deny claims in the haredi community - and posted anonymously on pashkvil signs in haredi neighborhoods - that cancer was the reason why the emaciated boy reportedly looks like a Holocaust survivor, rather than attributing the boy's condition to his mother's alleged mental illness. Leaflets alluding to cancer were also distributed by haredim at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem. The statements and rumors "are completely baseless and ... absolutely not true," Hadassah commented. The family belongs to Toldot Aharon, an extreme, 900-family hassidic sect living mostly in Jerusalem, with a handful living in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Hadassah also denounced the rioting near Hadassah's community clinic on Jerusalem's Rehov Straus, which is located near the haredi neighborhoods of Mea She'arim and Geula. The hospital maintains that having ruled out a physical reason for his emaciation and after observing the mother's behavior, the 30-year-old, Jerusalem-born, pregnant mother of four suffers from Munchausen-by-proxy, a rare syndrome that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker. In this mental illness an individual - usually a mother - deliberately makes another person (usually her or his own preschool child) sick or convinces others that the person is sick. The parent or caregiver misleads others into thinking that the child has medical problems by lying and reporting fictitious episodes. The boy's condition has significantly improved since the woman was arrested and remanded, thus keeping her away from the child. "His weight is increasing and additional physical signs have diminished or even disappeared," said HMO deputy director-general Dr. Yair Birnbaum. "Our medical teams are continuing to give the child the most dedicated medical and professional treatment," said Birnbaum, the same that he has received up to now during months in the pediatric department. "He is surrounded by love and compassion, not only from the staff but also from relatives who are with him."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia