The Knesset has voted into law a new bill that declares brain death is indeed classification of death for purposes of organ donor transplants.
The bill was authored by Kadima MK Otniel Schneller, who identifies with the Dati Leumi (National Religious) camp, has obtained a Knesset majority and organ donor officials believe it will bring relief to the estimated 900 Israelis who annually await organ donations.
Speaking on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) on Tuesday morning, Degel HaTorah MK Rabbi Avraham Ravitz stated the law does not bring anything new to the organ donor arena, explaining it could have been passed 20 years ago if the medical community would have been willing to consult with leading Torah authorities.
Rav Ravitz, who maintains close ties with Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlita, stated that the fears are the medical establishment will not adhere to the guidelines, adding when the new law refers to “brain death,” it refers to the total cessation of function of the brain stem.
Ravitz, who about 8 years ago received a kidney from one of his sons, stated he too has an Adi Organ Donor card, adding he and other have just made certain to check the option which states “A clergyman chosen by the family of the deceased will have the final say regarding a organ transplant”.
The law also makes provisions to pay NIS 18,000 to cover medical expenses of an organ transplant.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)