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Scum of the Day

We have two contenders for scum of the day.

Our first contender is a 19 year-old woman who passed up the opportunity to save the life of a seriously ill woman (courtesy of an email from my wife).

DONOR BACKS OUT, WITH TRAGIC RESULTS

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This idiom came tragically true last month with the death of leukemia patient Oranit Druckman, 47, of Ramat HaSharon, after a would-be bone marrow donor backed out after the last minute.

Maariv reports today that Oranit, who recovered from breast cancer in 2002, contracted leukemia in 2003. Doctors at Sheba Medical Center recommended that she and her family begin looking for bone marrow donors. The chances for finding a matching donor are one in 30-50,000 among the Jewish population, and three times worse among the general population. A match was found, however, in the Ezer Mizion donor bank, belonging to a 19-year-old girl. Oranit began to undergo strong chemotherapy two months ago, in an attempt to clean out the infected cells and make way for the new cells. At this point, however, the donor began to regret her decision – even as the chemotherapy was weakening Oranit to the point where she could not survive without the bone marrow transplant. Despite heavy pressure by rabbis and Ezer Mizion workers, the girl and her family refused to go through with her original decision – and on Jan. 8 of this year, Oranit passed away.

“Grave professional and ethical questions have arisen in the medical establishment” as a result of this tragic case, writes Dan Even in Maariv today. The Ezer Mizion organization – with the world’s largest Jewish registry of bone marrow donors, numbering 150,000, and which has facilitated over 85 life-saving bone marrow transplants throughout the world – says that the donated bone marrow should have been drawn and frozen before Oranit began chemotherapy. At Sheba Medical Center, however, it was explained that existing regulations set by NMDP (National Marrow Donor Program, the world’s largest registry of volunteer stem cell donors and cord blood units) stipulate that donor bone marrow may not be frozen.

Rabbi Yigal Shafran, head of the Medicine and Halakhah Department in the Jerusalem Chief Rabbinate, told Arutz-7 today that the almost-donor certainly violated the Biblical prohibition of “Do not stand by your neighbor’s blood… It should definitely be made clear to would-be donors the great responsibility they have when they volunteer to be tested in this way, and certainly when they agree to donate their marrow to save someone’s life. If they are found to match with someone who is gravely ill, they become their life-saver – and cannot turn back.” As she was the “only one in that situation who could have saved the patient, it was her obligation to go through with the transplant – [especially] as there was no danger to her. She did not commit outright murder, but rather transgressed the negative commandment of not saving a life.”

Rabbi Shafran said that if the regulations forbidding the freezing of donor marrow are based on medical considerations, then the hospital might rightfully continue this policy, despite the tragic case that occurred.

Our second contender is actually a group of Israelis who saw it fit to pose as terror victims in order to extort donations.

Jerusalem police suspect eleven Israelis have committed fraud by posing as victims of terror attacks in order to receive donations from a charitable Christian organization.

The investigation was kicked off by a tip about a few Israelis turning to the ìChristian Lovers of Israelî charity in Jerusalem and claiming to have been injured in terror attacks. They were wrapped in bandages and some were even in wheelchairs.

Each was handed a sum of money between NIS 1,000-NIS 5000. The investigation revealed that most of the money was handed over to one of the suspects, a 22-year-old who is the ringleader of the sting.

And the winner is…actually, they are all losers. It is amazing how low some people are willing to go.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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