'Starving mother' undergoes psychiatric evaluation
After delaying examination for several days, mother suspected of starving her son finally meets psychiatrist late Monday night for court-ordered evaluation. 'I'll need to see her again before I issue an opinion,' says psychiatrist
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
The mother suspected of starving her toddler son underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation Monday night. The woman was examined close to midnight at the private clinic of Dr. Yaakov Weill, and not at the home of the Froelich family where she is being held under house arrest, in an apparent attempt to avoid the media.
Sources estimated that the woman will be required to undergo another evaluation in order to determine whether she poses a threat to herself or her surroundings.
"I will likely need one or two more meetings with her before I issue an opinion," Dr. Weill told Ynet Tuesday. He defined their meeting last night as "an introductory meeting."
Weill naturally refrained from commenting on the meeting itself, due to doctor-patient privilege, but said: "A psychiatric examination is not love at first sight; it's a skill, a professional issue, something that takes time.
"I hope she agrees to meet again, but I can't force her," he added, saying he hoped to have another session with the mother Tuesday evening.
The woman reported to the examination despite pressure from the Haredi Community urging her to refrain from doing so until her sick son is transferred from Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center to another hospital, and until the court allows her to see her other children.
One of the main opponents to the evaluation was the community's spiritual leader, Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss.
Ha'aretz is reporting Hadassah – which received bomb and death threats from haredim – is thinking about transferring the boy elsewhere:
Jerusalem hospital mulls releasing boy allegedly starved by Haredi mother
By Dan Even, Jonathan Lis, Yair Ettinger • Haaretz
Officials at Hadassah University Hospital on Tuesday are considering discharging the young boy who was being treated for malnourishment allegedly caused by his mother's neglect. The move could be part of a compromise whereby leaders of an ultra-Orthodox sect announce an end to the group's boycott of the hospital.
The proposed compromise was raised during a meeting between Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss, an ultra-Orthodox leader, and the head of the hospital, Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef.
Scores of followers belonging to the sect, known in Hebrew as Ha'eda Haharedit, rioted in Jerusalem last week following the arrest of the mother, who is suspected of starving her three-year-old son.
The woman underwent psychiatric evaluation on Monday after the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court president, Judge Shulamit Dotan, issued an ultimatum: Either undergo psychiatric testing or return to jail.
The judge took the tougher stance after the mother initially refused to agree to psychiatric testing, a key condition of her release to house arrest.
Ultra-Orthodox community leaders and demonstrators expressed anger at the authorities and hospital officials over the arrest, arguing that the mother is innocent and that the affair was a pretext cooked up by the "Zionist authorities" to harass the religious public.
Haredi leaders and public officials have held a number of discussions in an effort to restore calm to the tense atmosphere which has permeated religious-secular relations in the capital over the last month.