'Israeli doctors acted like Mengele'

Romanian Medical Council head says what went on at fertility clinic can be compared with Auschwitz.

surgery surgeon 248.88 courtesy (photo credit: Courtesy of Tel Aviv Universtiy)
surgery surgeon 248.88 courtesy
(photo credit: Courtesy of Tel Aviv Universtiy)
The president of the Romanian Medical Council said Wednesday that the Israeli doctors arrested in Bucharest for allegedly running an illegal fertility clinic acted like Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi "doctor death" at Auschwitz. "These people are mentally disturbed, and what they did can only be compared with what went on at Auschwitz" said Prof. Vasile Astarastoaie in an interview with local media, cited by Army Radio. Astarastoaie added that at the end of a protracted probe last year, the RMC had recommended shutting down the Sabyc Clinic, due to violations of elementary medical ethics. In addition, he said that until recently, the doctors working for the clinic were not licensed to practice medicine in Romania. The doctors were arrested on suspicion of paying Romanian women to donate their eggs, some of whom, according to local media, were 15-year-old girls. The Israeli Consulate in Bucharest told the radio station that a protest would be filed with the authorities over the Mengele comparison. Meanwhile, Yonit, one of the Israeli women present during Monday's raid, told the station that the local authorities had acted like Mengele, not the Israeli doctors. "Those who acted like Dr. Mengele were the Romanian police, who forced us to sign a declaration in their language." she said. "They just split up into two groups: those who didn't sign went to one side, and those who did were sent to the other side. The situation was really reminiscent of [Nazi] selection." Prosecutors were set to file 22 charges against the suspects, including Prof. Natan Levit and Genia Ziskind - two fertility experts whose remands were both extended, Romanian news agencies said. In an interview with Israel Radio on Wednesday, Ambassador to Romania David Oren brushed off suggestions of anti-Semitism in the wake of the affair, saying that although Astarastoaie's remark was "totally unacceptable," it was "a comment made by one Romanian, nothing more." He confirmed that Levit and Ziskind were banned from leaving Romania, while clinic owners Ari and Ya'ir Meron were still in custody, after being remanded for 29 days. Oren said that reports of other Israelis in the country having their passports confiscated were being checked.