Photo: Ofer Meir
Shaare Zedek Medical Center (archive)
Photo: Ofer Meir

Haredi father blocks burned toddler from Hadassah

Crisis between ultra-Orthodox public and Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital surfaces again. Even though his 16-month old suffered from severe burns on her body caused by boiling water spilled on her, father refuses to allow ambulance to take his daughter to Hadassah because 'rabbi advised otherwise'

A 16-month-old toddler, who was severely burned when boiling water spilled on her, was hospitalized Friday morning in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, which does not have a burn unit, because her father opposed her hospitalization in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. The father justified his insistent refusal, claiming that "the rabbi advised otherwise."


About a month ago, the tensions aroused between the hospital and the haredi community by the 'starving mother' affair seemed to have subsided. However, now it seems as though the ultra-Orthodox boycott of the hospital is alive and kicking. Magen David Adom paramedics sought to evacuate the toddler suffering from severe burns caused by boiling water to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital because there is a specialized burn unit there.


The father, however, expressed his strong opposition. According to the medical team on the ambulance, the father caused a commotion on the ambulance and insisted that his daughter be taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center.


"The 16-month-old toddler was apparently burned by boiling water," said to Ynet Ilya Davoner, a Jerusalem Magen David Adom paramedic who evacuated the girl to the hospital. "An ambulance arrived to evacuate her to the hospital. Halfway there, we transferred her to a mobile intensive care unit. She suffered from second-degree burns over 15% to 20% of her body. The burns were mainly on her face, chest, and shoulders."


"We wanted to evacuate her to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital," he said, "but the father actively resisted, shouted, and caused a ruckus. He told us: 'Hadassah Ein Kerem doesn't treat our group well. That's what the rabbi suggested to me, and I am following the rabbi's recommendation.' The father insisted on going to Shaare Zedek Hospital despite our attempts to convince him to choose Hadassah Ein Kerem, where the treatment options are better considering the toddler's health condition. She is currently hospitalized at Shaare Zedek."


Hezi Rot, on call for United Hatzalah, a volunteer emergency medical service, provided first aid to the toddler outside the family's home. "The parents came downstairs with the toddler towards the medical team," he said.


"She was naked and wrapped in wet towels that the family had dressed her in. She suffered from burns all over her body from a pot of boiling water that spilled on her. Her skin was peeling. It was a serious burn. We immediately provided her first aid with bandaging. The parents were very stressed, panicked."


Rot recounted that some neighbors on the spot pressured the parents not to take the girl to Hadassah Ein Kerem: "This is a family with children. Of course they were very stressed. At the same time, a group of neighbors messed with their minds with protest. They said, especially to the mother: 'No way should you take her to Hadassah Ein Kerem.' Apparently, the pressure worked."


Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital has withheld comment at this time


פרסום ראשון: 10.30.09, 13:20
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