Hadassah rabbi told ER to treat religious patients first before Shabbat

The Hadassah Spokesperson's Unit released a statement claiming no such announcement had been made.

May 22, 2019 15:10
1 minute read.
Hadassah University Medical Center

Hadassah University Medical Center. (photo credit: AVI HAYOUN)


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Hadassah Ein Kerem's Rabbi Moshe Klein had instructed the ER to treat religious patients first on Friday before Shabbat comes in, according to Haaretz.

Klein reportedly phoned the ER last month and instructed the staff to embrace a rule that religious people should be treated first on Fridays, regardless of their medical urgency or how long other patients have been waiting for, before Shabbat comes in.

The rabbi explained that Hadassah Director-General Prof. Ze'ev Rotstein also released an announcement to the employees that reinforce his instructions.

The Hadassah Spokesperson's Unit released a statement claiming no such announcement had been made.

Sources at the Hadassah ER told Haaretz that the staff revolted against the rabbi's instructions and the ER chief nurse, which constitutes the actual administrative authority of the hospital on weekends backed her staff's action.

According to a source in the emergency room, "On Fridays, there is pressure from religious and observant patients due to the Shabbat issue. However, the source stressed that "it is unthinkable that the hospital will adopt a policy in which the issue of the Sabbat precedes medical and therapeutic considerations."

"The Hadassah administration does not know of any instruction to prioritize religious patients over secular patients in any case, and Hadassah's procedures are based solely on medical priority, determined independently by the ER teams, without the management's involvement," the Hadassah management board released a statement.

Ori Keidar, CEO of Israel Hofsheet, a civil movement that works to change the current relations between religion and state, sent a letter to Prof. Rotstein requesting for his official response to the issue, saying that "patients are entitled to know what the director of the medical center thinks, and whether a person should take into account that he or she may be a second-class patient who will be treated not according to his medical condition but according to his belonging to a particular religious stream, religion, race, sex or sexual orientation, in complete contradiction to healthy logic, medical ethics, the doctor's oath and the laws of the State of Israel."

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