Report: PM was put to sleep during hospital exams

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was anesthetized and put to sleep for an hour during his emergency hospital admission in Jerusalem in order to perform an inspection of his heart, according to a Ma'ariv report Thursday morning. Sharon suffered a minor stroke in the incident. According to the report, the anesthetics were applied with the knowledge of Vice Premier Ehud Olmert, who would replace Sharon if he were unable to function as prime minister. However, the fact that Sharon was put to sleep was omitted in reports by hospital staff. Professor Rafael Hirsch, director of the heart deficiency department at the Rabin medical center in Petach Tikva, told Army Radio that this was a standard procedure. "There was no reason to inform the public," Hirsch said, "we do thousands of procedures like this without any complications. I don't think that its part of his medical condition, rather it is simply a preparatory procedure done before an examination. "I think it's completely unnecessary to report on it as if it were related to a change in health."