NRL News

Israel assisted suicide bill will not pass

by | Jan 27, 2014


By Alex Schadenberg, executive director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Minister Uri Orbach

Minister Uri Orbach

News reports coming out of Israel are stating that an assisted suicide bill will not pass.

A story appearing at reports

Minister Uri Orbach says he will oppose the legislation of the MK [Member of Knesset] Ofer Shelach (of the political party Yesh Atid) to allow doctors to prescribe suicide medication for self-administration in case of terminal illness, “The health system cannot take responsibility for the euthanasia of terminal patients. Anyone who wants to take their own lives is not under the care of the state,” said Orbach.

Another news report stated:

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation plans to debate a new bill that seeks to legalize doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.

The proposal, dubbed the “death by prescription” bill, was drafted by MK Ofer Shelah. … It will be presented to the committee on Sunday. …

The bill has sparked controversy in the medical community in Israel, and many doctors have urged Shelah’s fellow Yesh Atid member Health Minister Yael German to oppose the bill.

“Doctors in Israel have earned the public’s trust because of our outstanding dedication to saving lives,” Israel Medical Association Chairman Dr. Leonid Idelman said. “This trust will be detrimentally harmed if, heaven forbid, any doctor pursues euthanasia.”

In a letter to German, Idelman noted that the World Medical Association’s official position on the matter states that euthanasia is unethical.

“Assisted suicide must be prohibited. Assisted suicide allows one person to be involved with causing the death of another person.  All jurisdictions have experienced some abuse of assisted suicide laws.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at