Professor Gil Siegel is an expert in medical ethics at the Center for Law, Ethics and Policy at Ono Academic College. He was interviewed on Israel Channel 11’s “Night News” program about the medical ethics surrounding the death of Alta Fixsler, a two and a half year old child, in the UK. Fixsler was taken off life support and passed away after the British authorities determined that continued treatment would be useless.
The case is very controversial. Her family, and the Belz Hasidic community had waged a long and ultimately unsuccessful battle with the UK health authorities to keep her on life support. Alta’s grandfather, Sinek Gedalia Greenbaum claimed, “A British judge has ruled that her life is over.” Goldie Greenwald, Alta’s Aunt, said, “This would not have happened here in this country [Israel].”
Prof. Siegel agreed that it is unlikely that the Israeli medical authorities would turn to the legal system to end the life of patient in such a situation. He noted that Israel has its own “blue and white” medical ethic that would have decided the case differently. Siegel discussed some of the important questions raised by the case: When is medical treatment useless and who is to decide? To what extent is life sanctified in Israel and in other countries? How does the medical system determine division of its scarce resources among patients?
The full interview can be viewed at: https://www.ifatmediasite.com/ms/radiomp4/2021/10/19/10996311.mp4