A medical malpractice lawsuit, which is exposed here for the first time, raises serious and unprecedented claims about the psychiatric wing of Sheba Government Hospital in Tel Hashomer. The lawsuit recounts one of the most difficult cases in the history of psychiatry in Israel, when for 24 days a patient was tied with both hands and both legs in contravention of the Treatment of the Mentally Ill Law and the Patient's Rights Law, all in the closed psychiatric ward for women at Sheba Government Hospital.
According to data revealed by Israel Hayom, since 2020 there has been an increase of about 40 per cent in illegal tying up and isolating psychiatric patients. Following the exposure, Health Minister MK Moshe Arbel on Wednesday instructed his ministry's director-general, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, to act as soon as possible to significantly reduce patient binding in all psychiatric hospitals, and praised hospitals where there are very few connections.
The lawsuit was filed by the patient's father against the Ministry of Health and Sheba Hospital in the Lod Center District Court, by attorneys Shai Feuering and Nimrod Halevi, and is based on the report of the Ministry of Health's investigation into the affair exposed in Israel Hayom and the opinion of a senior psychiatrist. A statement of defense has not yet been filed.
"A patient was tied up on both hands and both legs in violation of the law." Bondage room,
According to the prosecution and the investigation report, in May 2016, the 28-year-old patient, who was in involuntary hospitalization, was left after a violent incident in a tied ward for 24 days in the bondage room, defecating on herself in a diaper. She showered only once every other day, and the medical staff prevented most of her family's visits.
It was also revealed in the affair that most of the tying instructions were given by junior doctors and interns, regardless of her changing mental state.
The patient's case was exposed beginning in May 2016 on the daily radio program "Agenda" with Keren Neubach on Reshet Bet and by the above signed, and following the exposure, the patient was transferred to the government psychiatric hospital in Be'er Sheva, where she was not tied at all and was discharged two months later.
Most of the tying instructions were given by junior doctors and interns. The bonding room, photo: Gideon Markowitz
According to the lawsuit, the tying in Sheba's women's ward was "cruel, vindictive, negligent and illegal," and the director of Sheba's psychiatric ward told the family that complained at the time that he "may tie her up for as long as he decides and wants," and that "several patients were tied up in his ward for months and continuously."
It added that the department's doctors emphasized that "even if they are presented with an opinion stating that she should be released from the binding, they do not intend to do so." It should be noted that as a result of the affair, an ongoing and unprecedented effort began in the department on the matter, and since then patient bindings have been reduced to almost zero.
Sheba Hospital said: "The case described, which occurred more than seven years ago, was a touchstone for the treatment of mentally ill patients in the entire health system, and at Sheba in particular. Since then, Sheba Medical Center has been leading a mental health reform, serving as an exemplary example in treating complex cases such as this one; and serves as a beacon for the entire health system with a humane approach that respects every human being. The Division of Mental Health implements a therapeutic approach that strives for zero restrictions."
Wrong? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us