Judge to rule on Israeli's plea to 'die with dignity'

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Jerusalem (AP) - A judge in Tel Aviv yesterday ordered doctors not to use support systems to preserve the life of a former fighter pilot until he rules on the man's request to "die with dignity".

District Judge Moshe Talgam issued the injunction not to connect Itai Arad to a respiratory system for the next seven days until his final decision is published, said Mr Arad's lawyer, Yitzhak Hoshen.

Euthanasia is illegal in Israel. But Israeli courts have allowed doctors some discretion in how they treat terminally ill patients.

"It is a matter of value and most judges will take the easy way out and say no (to euthanasia). But I'd like to hope that the injunction ruling indicates that we are going to see some more intervention from the court," Mr Hoshen said.

Mr Arad, 47, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and is seeking court intervention to prevent treatment that would prolong his life in order to "die with dignity", Mr Hoshen said.