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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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November 2003
E. Soudry, C.L. Sprung, P.D. Levin, G.B. Grunfeld and S. Einav

Background:  Physicians’ decisions regarding provision of life-sustaining treatment may be influenced considerably by non-medical variables.

Objectives: To examine physicians’ attitudes towards end-of-life decisions in Israel, comparing them to those found in the United States.

Methods: A survey was conducted among members of the Israel Society of Critical Care Medicine using a questionnaire analogous to that used in a similar study in the USA.       

Results: Forty-three physicians (45%) responded, the majority of whom hold responsibility for withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatments. Preservation of life was considered the most important factor by 31 respondents (72%). The quality of life as viewed by the patient was generally considered less important than the quality of life as viewed by the physician. Twenty-one respondents (49%) considered withholding treatment more acceptable than withdrawing it. The main factors for decisions to withhold or withdraw therapy were a very low probability of survival of hospitalization, an irreversible acute disorder, and prior existence of chronic disorders. An almost similar percent of physicians (93% for Israel and 94% for the U.S.) apply Do Not Resuscitate orders in their intensive care units, but much less (28% vs. 95%) actually discuss these orders with the families of their patients.

Conclusions:  Critical care physicians in Israel place similar emphasis on the value of life as do their U.S. counterparts and assign DNR[1] orders with an incidence equaling that of the U.S. They differ from their U.S. counterparts in that they confer less significance to the will of the patient, and do not consult as much with families of patients regarding DNR orders.

[1] DNR = Do Not Resuscitate

October 2001
by Jonathan Grunfeld, MD and Colin Klein, MD
December 2000
Rosalie Ber, MD, DSc, Gershon B. Grunfeld, PhD and Gideon Alroy, MD
 The Rappaport Faculty of Medicine of the Technion established an Ethics in Medicine Forum in March 1993. The main objective of the forum was to increase awareness of the philosophical principles of ethics in medicine, as defined and developed in the western world during the last three decades. The multidisciplinary forum meets once a month during the academic year. Our 7 years experience is documented. Of the 45 meetings, 30 were clinically oriented and of these more than half were based on cases. Only 15 meetings were purely theoretical. Our principal a assumption was that any and every topic could be discussed, including those covered by the law We explored a how well western philosophical principles and rules fit the Israeli picture. Many of the forum discussions related to 0 the draft of the Patient’s Bill of Rights which came into effect on 12 May 1996. The role of the ‘legal’ hospital ethics committees was compared to that of the “advisory” ethics committees whose members constituted a large share of our forum. The multicultural Israeli population and the practice of medicine therein raised many lively discussions. The principle of autonomy in the ultra-orthodox and in the family setting was a highly controversial issue. The forum served as a workshop for examining traditional medical ethical principles, which we strongly feel needs to he amended in light of the 1996 Patient’s Bill of Rights. From our 7 years experience with an Ethics in Medicine Forum we recommend that medical ethical deliberations focus on genuine medical cases.

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