, Volume 32, Issue 8, pp 1234-1237
Date: 23 May 2006

The dying patient: new Israeli legislation

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Introduction

The moral, cultural, religious, and legal aspects of treating the dying patient are among the most difficult in modern medicine. Although the dying patient has been one of the most prominent problems within medicine since time immemorial, the dilemma has intensified in the past few decades. This is due to the enormous advances in medicine and technology, the change in patient–physician relationship from a paternalistic to an autonomous approach, the greater involvement of various professionals in treating the dying patient, and the economic and cultural changes. Different cultures have different approaches for the dying patient. Israeli society, like other western societies, has struggled with this issue for many years. Various policies, court cases, and declarations have been enacted. Nevertheless, the situation has been confusing, with physicians not knowing what was allowed or not and acting inconsistently, often not discussing decisions with patients, next-of-kin, or ot