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July 01, 1983 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-07-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, July 1,1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

New York Passes Autopsy Law

ALBANY, N.Y. (JTA) —
The New York Legislature
has passed an unprece-
dented measure which will
substantially limit the
power of medical examiners
to perform an autopsy over
religious objections, an
issue of vital concern to ob-
servant Jews: The bill's
principal sponsor, Assem-
blyman Sheldon Silver
(D-Manhattan) said it is the
first and only law of its kind
in any of the 50 states.
Silver said the measure
was drafted with the help of
Dennis Rapps, executive di-
rector of the National
Jewish Commission on Law
and Public Affairs
(COLPA), and COLPA at-

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torneys Judah Dick and A. also requires that all per-
David Stern.
mitted autopsies must be
Silver said that, under the "least intrusive proce-
existing law, autopsies dure consistent with the
must be performed in all compelling state interest
cases when death occurs in and cannot be performed
the absence of medical until there has been 48
supervision, such as in traf- hours notice to permit an ob-
fic accidents an other occa- jecting party to challenge
sions when a doctor is un- the propriety of the particu-
able to certify the exact lar dissection."
cause of death.
If a medical examiner
Silver said that some maintains that an autopsy
courts have, on occasion, is warranted by a compel-
banned autopsies when ling public necessity other
objections were raised on than investigation of a
religious grounds. But, homicide, or prevention of
he added, those opposing disease, the bill requires the
the autopsy had to obtaining of a court order
promptly start a court ac- "on notice to next of kin or
tion to prevent the exer- friend, or if none is known to
cise by the medical exam- them, to such party as the
iner of his discretion os- court may direct."
tensibly approved by
Silver said this ap-
existing law.
The bill provides that an proach reverses the cur-
autopsy may not be per- rent procedure under
formed over religious objec- which opponents of an
tions unless there is a "com- autopsy must go to court
pelling public necessity," "to halt clearly objec-
defined as a situation in tionable autopsies" and
which the autopsy "is essen- provides a mechanism
tial to the conduct of a crim- for a court to rule in ex-
inal investigation of a traordinary circum-
homicide of which the dece- stances.
dent is the victim," or one in
Jewish religious law im-
which "discovery of the poses severe limits under
cause of death is necessary which dissection of a
to meet an immediate and
cadaver is permitted and
substantial threat to the improper dissection is con-
public health" and "a dis- sidered a defilement of the
section or autopsy is essen- body and a desecration of
tial to ascertain the cause of the good name of the dead
death."
person.
Silver said the measure
Rapps said that, based on
also provides that a next of ' the experience gained in
kin or "friend" of the dead helping getting the New
person, defined as someone York law enacted, COLPA
"who maintained such reg- will now start an effort to
ular contact with the dece- get similar legislation
dent as to be familiar with adopted in the 14 other
his religious beliefs" can states in which there are
oppose an autopsy. The bill COLPA chapters.

Leading Canada Jews Cited

TORONTO (JTA) — Four
prominent Canadian Jews
are among the recipients of
The Order of Canada to be
awarded today on the occa-
sion of Dominion Day.
Named on the list an-
nounced by Gov. Gen. Ed
Schreyer, are Naim Kattan
of Ottawa, Max Enkin of
Toronto, Jacob Lowy of
Montreal and Klaus
Goldschlag, the Canadian
Ambassador to West Ger-
many.
Kattan, an author and
editor and a senior official of
the Canada Council, was
born in Iraq and was first
employed in Canada by the
Canadian Jewish Congress.
He directed its Cercle
Juif de Langue Francaise
and is an authority on
French and English liter-
ature in Canada. One of
his books describes
growing up as a Jew in
Iraq.
Enkin, 84, is a clothing
manufacturer who already
holds the Order of the
British Empire (OBE). He
was involved in bringing
refugees to Canada after

World War II as part of a
clothing industry project.
He is a past president of
the Holy Blossom Temple in
Toronto and an officer of the
Canadian Council of Chris-
tians and Jews.
Lowy, 75, was born in
Czechoslovakia. He has do-
nated a valuable collection
of Judaica and Judaic ar-
tifacts to the National Arc-
hives. Ambassador
Goldschlag is a member of
the family expelled from
Germany by the Nazis.

Coin-Operated
Kosher Food

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Kosher food is now avail-
able at special vending
machines at JFK Interna-
tional Airport, announced
Joseph Reisman, president
of Borenstein Caterers,
which will supply the
kosher sandwiches, snacks,,
desserts and beverages.
The kosher Machines will
be positioned in two loca-
tions on the second floor de-
parture level of the Interna-
tional Arrivals Building.

Quintuplet Care

NEW YORK — Daniel
Pisner, the unemployed
father of the quintuplets
born last week in Washing-
ton, Dc., plans to stay home
and care for the children
when his wife Pamela, a
government secretary re-
turns to work.

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JERUSALEM (JTA) —
The army has lifted a two-
week-old order that closed
all buildings in central
Hebron, including the bus
terminal.
The order was imposed
after a grenade was thrown
at a building in downtown
Hebron that the Israeli
authority had turned over
to Jewish settlers.
Mayor Mustapha Abdul
Natsche welcomed the end
of the restriction. But Gush
Emunim zealots, led by
Rabbi Moshe Levinger, con-
tinued to stage a sitdown
strike outside the civil ad-
ministration headquarters
demanding the ouster of
Mayor Natsche who they al-
lege is a Palestine Libera-
tion Organization "agent."
The building that was the
grenade target two weeks
ago, known as the Romano
House, belonged to Jews
who fled Hebron during the
Arab riots 54 years ago.
It served as an elemen-
tary school for Arab girls
until two years ago when it
was seized by the Israeli
authorities and handed over
to Jews from Kiryat Arba,
the Orthodox township ad-
jacent to Hebron. The sei-
zure was in retaliation for
an attempt on the life of a
Kiryat Arba resident.

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To: The Jewish. News

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