NOT JUSTIFIED - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Reuven
    • 10.11.10 | 14:52 (IST)

    The fact that Arik Sharon was a former prime minister, IDF general and in the most part an inspirational leader does not justify a special annual grant of 1.6 million shekels from the public purse. There are many families in Israel who are required to find thousands of shekels every month to support ailing relatives who suffer from all kinds of terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer, various serious forms of cancer and serious injury due to accidents who receive from Pituach Leumi a fraction of the cost of keeping their loved ones alive. If Sharon's family wishes to spend some 130 thousand shekels each month in order to keep Sharon alive, that is their decision. It should be stressed that all citizens should be treated the same way from the public purse, irrespective of their role in public life. Nobody would object to a nominal contribution from state coffers to assist in trying to keep somebody alive, as it has been shown that many people around the world have returned to consciousness after long periods in a coma. Another consideration to receiving extra payment from the state would be a means test. If such a means test was applied to Sharon's family it would in all probability be shown that the family have the where-with-all to pay all that is required to keep Sharon alive. There are many families who cannot afford to buy expensive drugs to keeps their loved ones alive as these drugs are not part of the 'health basket'. $1.6 million shekels would go a long way to allowing families with limited resources to get hold of these drugs which have been proven to help the quality of life in some cases. In matters of health there are no special cases.

    from the article: Comatose ex-PM Ariel Sharon about to return home
    First published 01:43 10.11.10 | Last updated 01:43 10.11.10
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