Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman
dismissed on Monday the chief pathologist of the longtime director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir, Professor Yehuda Hiss.
Litzman decided to fire Hiss after criticizing the way he has been running the institute. The examination of Hiss's work began following a Yedioth Ahronoth report saying he had saved tissue from the bodies of more than 8,000 people, including entertainer Dudu Topaz
and former chief of staff Rafael Eitan, without informing their families before they were buried. In light of the affair, Litzman decided to carry out a major shake-up in the institute.
The Health Ministry's medical administration will take charge of the institute instead of the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, which was given overall responsibility for the institute following scandals and allegations under Hiss's management.
Following the Yedioth Ahronoth report, the Health Ministry received dozens of complaints from organizations and civilians calling for Hiss's dismissal. Senior ministry officials wondered why Litzman decided to set up an investigative committee rather that fire Hiss on the spot. "Hiss has caused so much damage, there is not need for an investigative committee in order to fire him," one of them told Ynet at the time.
The ministry said Monday evening that "in light of the criticism over the way the institute was run and in accordance with (Litzman's) instructions, the ministry's director general, Prof. Ronni Gamzu,
decided to reorganize the institute's activity."
The Orlansky, Eisenberg and Golan law firm, which represents dozens of families who filed lawsuits over the tissue affair said, "We have claimed all along that preserving the honor of the dead should be the guiding principle." The attorneys lauded the Health Ministry for "acting responsibly and reaching the necessary conclusions."
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