Twelve doctors are now suspected of carrying out illegal medical experiments on hundreds of elderly patients at the Kaplan Hospital's Hertzfeld Geriatric Center in Rehovot, a police representative told the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee on Monday.
Ch.-Supt Meir Cohen, the head of internal investigations for the public security office, told the committee that in addition to the four doctors initially questioned in the affair, eight other doctors are now being investigated.
So far, only three arrests have been made in the affair.
Police said that the charges issued against them could include abuse of helpless victims, assault under aggravated circumstances, causing death through negligence, fraud, forgery, and obstruction of an investigation. They added that additional suspects would be investigated in the coming days.
The doctors were allegedly involved with experiments that were carried out on elderly patients - often suffering from degenerative dementia - who were hospitalized at the facility. Police said the experiments, some of which allegedly involved invasive procedures, recurrent blood drawing, and even the administering of psychotropic medications, were carried out illegally and without notifying or obtaining the permission of the patients' families. According to suspicion, at least one elderly woman died as a result of the experiments, which were allegedly conducted between 2000-2003.
Two doctors, Shmuel Levi and Nadia Kagensky, who were arrested at the beginning of the month, were remanded to house arrest until October 19.
The two are still forbidden from going to Kaplan-Harzfeld Medical Center, establishing communications with anybody else involved in the affair, and from leaving the country. A third doctor, Alona Sminov, who was a specialist at Kaplan, was also arrested in the affair and released to house arrest.