Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This baby should not be suffering

A highly disturbing story on Yeshiva World*.

Apparently, a Charedi couple in Jerusalem are refusing to allow their five-week old baby to be hospitalised at Hadassah Hospital, despite the fact that it is the only medical institution in the country with the technology to deal with his intracranial bleeding. The reason? The hospital was at the centre of the row last month over the Charedi mother accused of starving her three-year-old almost to death. It was accused of framing the mother, death threats were made against individual doctors, others were compared to Nazis.

“The child’s chances of survival in Hadassah are greater than in any other hospital” Yediot quotes one of the doctors as stating, but the parents remain firm in their refusal. Ultimately, the infant was transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, not their first choice, adding the child’s care is being compromised due to ideology.

As a result, the infant is transported to Hadassah for treatment and returned to Shaare Zedek. The report adds that the medical team insists the traveling back and forth is not in the infant’s interest, but the parents remain adamant in their refusal, unwilling to admit the child to Hadassah.

Chareidi askan [macher - MS] Dudi Zilbershlag, in his capacity as the spokesman for Bikur Cholim, confirms that the parents refuse to transfer their child to Hadassah.

Yoeli Krauss, who is deemed the operations officer of the Eida Chareidis told Yediot that “we want our tzibur [public - MS] to receive the best medical care possible. We advised the parents to transfer the child to Hadassah but they refused,” adding “our tzibur is hysterical”.

Krauss adds “If Hadassah has any concern; it would issue a public apology to clear the air and climb down from its tree. If this was done, the situation would revert back to its former state and it would heal the wounds. Failure to do so places the responsibility solely on Hadassah”.

Actually, no. Hadassah has served the Charedi community well for many years, and the Charedi authorities should have nipped the propaganda against it in the bud. They didn't, because it all served their purposes at the time - portraying the 'system' as anti-Charedi and the allegedly child-starving mother as a victim of the doctors.

Is this really what they wanted? Newborn babies (from their own community) suffering because their parents are petrified of the hospital? They are the ones who must 'climb down from the tree', the tree they planted, now, for the sake of this baby and others.

As for the parents, it is hard to imagine how anyone can put a frail, sick five-week-old through a daily ambulance ride when a bed is available in Hadassah. I hope they do not end up regretting it for the rest of their lives, and wish the baby a refuah shlemah.

*The original is apparently in Yediot, but I can't find it.

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