Detainee Ahmad Yousef Al Tameemy, 45, from Ramallah, demanded through his lawyer Johana Lehrman, who represents Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the disqualification of Judge Noga Ohad of the Tel Aviv Central Court for questioning his right to receive medical care.
Al Tameemy, who was arrested on November 11, 1993, and was sentenced to one life term in July 1994, suffers from kidney failure. He receives dialysis three times a week and requires a kidney transplant.
Al Tameemy, a father of three children, has a relative who is willing to donate a kidney, but the Israeli Prison Authorities has said it will charge $100,000 to carry out the transplant.
According to the Israeli law, all prisoners, regardless of race, nationality, status, or the reason for which they are being held, are entitled to receive medical services included in the National Health Basket
Atty. Yohanna Lerman from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel initially submitted a petition on behalf of Al Tameemy against the discriminatory decision regarding the kidney transplant in Sept. 2005.
This decision contradicts the obligation of the authority to care for all those under its custody, the PHR reported.
In 2005, PHR-Israel contacted Dr. Alex Adler, the Chief Medical Officer at the IPS and demanded that it set a date for the transplant and that the donor undergo all needed examinations.
On 16 August 2005, Dr. Adler replied that a transplant from a living donor would be at the prisoner’s expense and asked that he pay $90,000. The reply ended: “when there is a financial arrangement we will be happy to continue the treatment”.
In his response Dr. Adler noted that the Israeli National Health Insurance Act (NHIA) only applies to Israeli citizens and that the prisoner can pay for the operation on his own and conduct it in any medical center in Israel that does transplants. The cost: $100,000 ($10,000 higher than before.
Al Tameemy was transferred to a prison hospital since 2001
Judge Ohad’s statements raises concern that she already made up her mind as to Al Tameemy’s right to medical care – even before the hearing the arguments of the sides. Therefore, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, in the name of Ahmed Al Tameemy, called on the court to remove Judge Ohad from the case.