Public Health, Law, and Traumatic Collective Experiences: The Case of Mass Ringworm Irradiations

Nadav Davidovitch, Avital Margalit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the interaction of public health care and law in the reproduction and healing of collective trauma. It describes how the social construction of diseases led in a mass ringworm irradiation campaign among immigrants to Israel. Then, it explores the penetration of cultural sensitivities into the legal and medical professions and calls for alternative methods for overcoming collective trauma. An evaluation of the ringworm irradiation case and the Compensation Law elaborates the choice of law as the sole or primary mechanism for healing and constructing a system for social healing. It is difficult for the law to establish a social healing and mending process. The Compensation Law can be characterized as relating to each victim individually, and “individualizing” the experience of the trauma and the disease. The conditions for the implementation of the Law committees are being produced that are more appropriate for a process of social healing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrauma and Memory
Subtitle of host publicationReading, Healing, and Making Law
PublisherStanford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780804768122
ISBN (Print)9780804754057
StatePublished - Jan 2008


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