Israel Committee Approves Measure to Legalize Assisted Suicide

International   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Jun 9, 2014   |   2:46PM   |   Jerusalem, Israel

The assisted suicide debate has heated up in Israel, where, on Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill that would allow assisted suicide. 

Uri Orbach, the Minister for Senior Citizens, submitted an appeal to the assisted suicide bill saying that he would work to:

“save the legal system from this pill of death.”

picassistedsuicide8bAccording to the The Times of Isreal, The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill that would provide legal immunity to physicians who prescribe a lethal dose to patients who are defined as terminal.

Orbach stated on Facebook that the bill commodified death.

“Death is becoming a commodity or service granted to citizens. The poor doctors now have to supply death for terminally ill patients as well [as medical care]. This is a false liberalism which claims that everything is negotiable as long as it is the free will of the customer. Any other value: social, religious, legal is rejected in the face of the individual’s choice,” 

“My heart goes out to the terminally ill, but this is also a discussion about what is should be allowed within the legal statutes, what is the role of doctors and family, and whether ‘individual rights’ are the only determining factor in the eyes of the law.”

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau expressed his opposition, in the Israel National News by saying:

“a doctor can be a healer, but when he is unable to heal he does not have the authority to kill. He may give pain medication, even in heavy doses, as death nears, but cannot kill.”

Israel has debated assisted suicide in the past and has rejected it. Israel must remember its history and reject assisted suicide again. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.