The patient's right to know, in the 1996 israel law for the rights of the patient: The pains of progress

Roberta Mester, Mo Tamar Mozes, Baruch Spivak, Rachel Blumensohn, Galit Ben-Amitay, Moshe Kotler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 1996 Israel Law for Patients' Rights, Sections 21 and 22, introduces to the field of health legislation two new entities: internal examination committees and quality-control committees. The former are to be established when there is a need to investigate unusual, irregular or exceptional events related to diagnosis and/or treatment. Furthermore, the 1996 Law directs the internal examination committee to reveal its findings to the patient or to his representatives. This approach has evoked strong controversy up until the present time. On the other hand, the quality-control committees which produce privileged information have been smoothly integrated into psychiatric practice. This paper presents the history of the creation of these two committees based on law, and examines their effect on the daily practice of medicine and the reaction of the physicians' guild to their activation. It also discusses the effect of the implementation of these committees on the level of mutual trust between therapist and patient, and on medical morality and its relationship to the social phenomenon known as defensive medicine. Feasible solutions for controversial issues are presented. These include participation of patients or their representatives in the internal examination committees, privileged peer reviews, increased utilization of quality control committees and of ethics committees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


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