Supreme Court rules: Partial autopsy for haredi baby

Supreme Court rules a partial autopsy and quick burial for body of four-month-old baby from Beit Shemesh.

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Haim Lev,

Haredi protest against autopsy
Haredi protest against autopsy
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The Supreme Court decided on Thursday night that the body of the four-month-old baby who died earlier in the day after being hospitalized for several days with head trauma, will undergo a partial, minimal autopsy in order to assist in determining the exact cause of death.

The Court also ruled that the autopsy will be carried out as quickly as possible, under the supervision of a rabbi from ZAKA, and the baby will be brought for burial in the coming hours.

The baby, Moshe Rafael Mizrahi, is the grandson of Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul. It is believed he was violently shaken by one of his caregivers in an effort to wake him up, leading to the head trauma.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came after the Jerusalem Magistrates Court earlier ordered an autopsy be performed to determine cause of death, but the baby’s haredi family opposed and appealed to the Supreme Court.

Following the initial ruling on the autopsy, members of the haredi communities in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood and Beit Shemesh held a protest riot in Jerusalem's Shabbat Square against the autopsy.

The demonstrators blocked roads and threw rocks at security forces patrolling the riot. There were no injuries, but police arrested three protestors.

The haredi community has traditionally opposed any and all autopsies and often hold large protest riots against the medical procedure.