Heated reactions to the publication in Israel Hayom that a "personal room" at Beilinson Hospital is guaranteed for male couples in the gynecology ward, after the birth of a baby through surrogacy. Many even called for a boycott by both feminists and religious people, along with criticism of the health system.
In recent months, all hospitals have been preparing to accept gay couples following the approval of surrogacy in Israel for male couples, but health officials pointed out that Beilinson's step harms equality in public medicine – both towards the surrogate, who will not receive private hospitalization conditions, and towards other couples from the LGBT community who do not receive private hospitalization conditions, as well as heterosexual surrogate parents. And of course, the main gap is vis-à-vis every woman giving birth who is hospitalized in a common room, and therefore her right under the Patient's Rights Law to have a companion of her choice is violated.
Beilinson Hospital, Photo: Yehoshua Yosef /
"Have you lost your brains?" raged one online commenter, "My husband can't stay to sleep next to me after giving birth to help me with the baby, not even after a caesarean, but will you admit a perfectly healthy man to the ward for his 'bonding' with the baby?"
"Together with you and other recovering mothers, men who bought or borrowed a womb from another woman who went through what you are going through will be hospitalized. And the woman giving birth? You will be thrown into the women's ward." Another commenting article on the hospital's Facebook page.
Another commenter wrote on the hospital's Facebook page: "Along with you and other recovering mothers will be hospitalized men who bought or borrowed a uterus from another woman who went through what you are going through. And the woman giving birth? - Will be thrown into the women's department. The first to be affected by this are women! There is no equality here and no issue of inclusion!"
A senior official at another hospital said: "The duty is to the patient. The woman, the surrogate. She was the one who went through the birth. Hospitalization of a gay couple should not be at the expense of women's hospitalization conditions. The surrogate will go to the gynecology ward and be hospitalized in a common room and they will receive a private room. It's an excess preference for men at the expense of women."
Do not harm any sector
In a response video filmed by Prof. Osnat Welfish, head of Beilinson's Obstetrics and Gynecology Division, she said: "This has aroused concern and fear and even a storm from audiences who fear that our service in them will be harmed, that their modesty will be harmed, that their needs will be harmed. I guarantee that all couples of all types and sectors get what they deserve without harming any other sector."
Prof. Osnat Welfish, Photo: Yehuda Peretz
Prof. Welfish told Israel Hayom: "Our effort is to give every woman a private room. There is no attempt to bring in customers and no benefits. It's an attempt at pluralistic medicine."
The Israel Midwives Association said in response to Israel Hayom's inquiry: "We are pleased to see that the health system can make its services accessible according to the unique needs of the patient."
The Movement for Freedom of Choice in Childbirth and the Midwifery Association are calling on the Ministry of Health to leverage the situation to improve maternity hospitalization conditions.
Hadar Vander-Alberance, Deputy Director General of the Movement for Freedom of Choice in Childbirth, said: "We welcome any action that promotes the right of every person to have beneficial parenting and a good, healthy attachment with the newborn in his early days. The new adjustments for gay couples and single fathers sound like an important move, but there is a need for many adjustments in the maternity wards for women as well, and we would love to hear about creativity and action in this area as well."
Wrong? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us