Having lived in Europe for basically half my life, I’ve grown inured to reports of kid-glove and more overt judeophobia on the part of the “natives”. However, this story managed to shock even me (as it would anybody who is a doctor or ever contemplated becoming one).
Times of Israel liveblog:
Belgian doctor refuses treatment to Jewish woman
A Belgian physician who refused to treat a Jewish woman with a fractured rib suggests she visit Gaza to get rid of the pain.
The physician makes the remark on Wednesday while manning a medical hotline in Flanders, Belgium’s Flemish region, whose capital, Antwerp, has a sizable Orthodox Jewish population, the local Jewish monthly Joods Actueel reports Thursday.
The woman, Bertha Klein, had her son, who is American, call the hotline at 11 p.m.
“I’m not coming,” the doctor reportedly tells the son and hung up. When the son calls again, the doctor says: “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then [her pains will be over: corrected translation, NCT]” According to Joods Actueel, the doctor confirmed the exchange, saying he had an “emotional reaction.”
Health ministry officials were looking into the incident, according to the monthly’s online edition. According to Joods Actueel, the doctor knew the patient was Jewish because of Klein’s son’s American accent.
The family calls a friend, Samuel Markowitz, who is an alderman of the Antwerp district council and a volunteer paramedic. He calls the doctor to confirm the exchange, and also records their conversation.
Hershy Taffel, Bertha Klein’s grandson, files a complaint with police for discrimination.
“It reminds me of what happened in Europe 70 years ago,” Taffel tells Joods Actueel. “I never thought those days would once again be repeated.”[…]
While the ToI generally do due diligence about such stories (unlike some of the Hebrew press), I read the original article (in Dutch)
and can confirm the story is not as bad as reported, but worse
. For one, the poor woman is 90 years old.
Any doctor in Belgium is supposed to have sworn the Hippocratic Oath
. Denying treatment to anyone for any reason other than sound medical judgment or lack of specific expertise (the Oath specifically gives the example of surgery by a non-surgeon) is a direct violation of the Oath.
[Jewish doctors in Israel swear the similar Oath of Assaf the Physician
). And no matter how heated the conflict with our neighbors, this oath is taken seriously. Arabs from all over the Middle East — even from countries technically at war with Israel — travel to Israel’s Top Four hospitals for specialist medical treatment. Not to mention countless patients from the West Bank and Gaza that are beyond the help of the local medical facilities.
Even hardened Hamas terrorists for whom a bullet would be too merciful get full and proper medical treatment in hospitals. Why? Because. That. Is. What. A. Fecking. Doctor. Does, No Ifs, No Ands, No Buts. The fact that several Arab patients of the infamous Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein (a medical doctor) testified after the Hebron Massacre that he had saved their lives when they were his patients speaks volumes — not in favor of his character, but about the seriousness with which the Oath is taken.]
I do not care how much this “dokter strontzak” will apologize or grovel to keep his/her job. Nothing less than permanent revocation of medical license is an appropriate punishment in this case. Anybody behaving like he/she did — denying treatment to a 90-year old woman for no other reason than being Jewish — is not worthy of the name “doctor”/”doctor”/”geneesheer” and only sullies the title.
Then again, I happen to feel the same way about any “doctor” committing involuntary euthanasia
. — another practice in direct violation of the Hippocratic Oath (not to mention murder statutes)…