The Israeli terminally Ill patient law of 2005

Alan B. Jotkowitz, Shimon Glick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Israel, like many other countries, is strug-gling with numerous bioethical dilemmas due to its cultural and religious diversity. Until recently there was no legal guidance for how to deal with end-of-life issues. However, in 2005 a law was passed regulating the treatment of dying patients. Its most controversial aspect is the distinction it makes between withholding therapy (which is allowed) and withdrawing continuous therapy (which is not allowed). In this formulation, the law attempted to strike a balance between respecting the autonomy of the patient and respecting the sanc-tity of life. The law respects autonomy by establishing the right of the patient to refuse treatment; it respects the sanctity of life by prohibiting active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. However, this compromise was not acceptable to all members of the public advi-sory body that framed the law. Some argued that there was no moral basis for the distinction between with-holding and withdrawing treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-288
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Palliative Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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