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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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