Terms of Betrayal: Radiation Treatment of Ringworm in Israel - Legal and Behavioral Aspects
Ringworm, Irradiation, and History, (ed. by Theodore M. Brown, Shifra Shvarts , Siegal Sadetzki, The University of Rochester Press and Boydel & Bruer Inc.) (Forthcoming)
32 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2013
Date Written: February 25, 2013
The major part of the essay will consider the unique Israeli legislation that sets the compensation procedure for anyone who suffered injury due to ringworm treatment: the 1994 Ringworm Victims Compensation Law (hereinafter “the Ringworm Law” or “the Law”). The central purpose of this discussion is to present the Law and its uniqueness, as well as examine it in the broader context of a series of similar laws, to facilitate an understanding of the rationales underlying the Law. The essay also will consider the possibility that the Law was enacted in response to its legislators’ belief that the irradiation of ringworm patients represented a particularly harsh type of ongoing betrayal towards them by the young state of Israel as well as the pre-state establishment. According to behavioral research, a sense of betrayal leads to a desire to compensate the victim and punish the betrayer. Our premise is thus that the drafters of the Ringworm Law were motivated by such a sense of betrayal and, accordingly, sought to compensate the radiation patients, although it is doubtful that this led to a sense of forgiveness on the part of the victims.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation