Hadassah Hospital officials threatened


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hadassah Hospital officials may discharge a boy starved by his mother after the hospital chief received death threats from the fervently Orthodox community.

The Eda Haredit sect also announced a boycott of the Jerusalem hospital, saying it wants the 3-year-old boy transferred to another hospital.

The mother, who was arrested last week and later released on bail to house arrest in a third party’s home, underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation late Monday night as part of the bail agreement. The psychiatrist has requested another session for as soon as Tuesday night.

Doctors believe the woman has Munchausen-by-proxy-syndrome, in which the person affected makes someone else ill, usually a child, in order to get attention.

Haredi leaders say the mother is innocent and that the boy was being treated for cancer, which hospital authorities deny.

The hospital’s deputy director-general, Dr. Yair Birnbaum, an Orthodox Jew, is being protected by security personnel. Other hospital staff also have been threatened, the Jerusalem Post reported.

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