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Israeli Court Says Alzheimer Patient Doesn’t Have to Have Life-support

June 12, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

In a decision widely welcomed by the medical profession, a Tel Aviv District Court judge Wednesday affirmed the wishes of an Alzheimer disease victim not to be linked to a life-support system.

Judge Moshe Talgat ruled that Miriam Zadok, who is in the terminal stages of the disease at a nursing home, should receive only “normal” medical treatment to relieve pain and discomfort.

He ruled out the use of mechanical means to keep her alive.

The judge acted in compliance with the patient’s wishes, expressed in a tape-recording made two years ago, and in consultation with her physician, Dr. Ya’acov Assaf.

The doctor described Zadok as virtually comatose and without capacity to help herself and said he was already treating her along the lines ordered by the court. He said the small nursing home did not possess mechanical life-support systems.

Therefore, the doctor said, he would continue to administer intermittent oxygen to help his patient breath. Continuous oxygen was barred by the court.

Zadok is being fed intravenously to prevent starvation and dehydration.

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