A hotly contested debate on assisted suicide has just begun in Israel, and not surprisingly. The Ministerial Committee has just approved a draft bill which would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication for Israeli citizens with less than 6 months to live.
The bill is supported by most of the Knesset – Israel’s State Parliament and Israeli public opinion. However, this is not the case with religious chiefs such as Chief Rabbi Ashkenazi David Lau for whom “a doctor can be a healer, but when he is unable to heal, he does not have the authority to kill”. He believes that a doctor can give pain-relieving medication at high doses which could lead to the patient’s death, but a doctor cannot kill someone.