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Photo: Tal Cohen
IDF medical corps
Photo: Tal Cohen
Anthrax tests on troops to be conducted ‘strictly under supervision’
Following deliberation on petition protesting IDF medical experimentation on soldiers, government announces Ministry of Health to supervise such experiments

State officials reported to the High Court of Justice on Sunday that all medical experiments on IDF soldiers are to be conducted only under strict Health Ministry supervision and approval.

 

The State also reported to the court that the Health Ministry protocol for human experimentation is to be implemented in the IDF as standard command.

 

This announcement was made following a petition brought to the court by the human rights group Physicians for Human Rights, in conjunction with several Israeli Defense Force soldiers, protesting medical experimentation on active duty soldiers in the IDF.

 

Most prominently, petitioners protested the use of IDF soldiers in secret experiments testing Anthrax vaccines, codenamed “Omer 2”.

 

Physicians For Human Rights petitioned the High Court three months ago, demanding that the IDF stop medical experimentation on soldiers, and demanding the establishment of a commission of inquiry on this matter.

 

The IDF soldiers petitioning the court demanded that they be compensated for pain and suffering endured during such experimentation.

 

The “Omer 2” Anthrax experiment that triggered this petition was held between 1999 and 2006, and included some 800 IDF soldiers. The experiment included a series of seven injections, some including an American Anthrax vaccine, and others a recently developed Israeli formula.

 

Physicians for Human Right has maintained that the experiment failed to uphold several ethical imperatives, including garnering the informed consent of the soldiers in question, as well as following up on their general health and well being at the conclusion of the experiment.

 

Israeli law regulates medical experiments on human beings through sub-ordinances rather than through major legislation. In the IDF, the legislative status of human medical experiments is even more uncorroborated.

 

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