PUAH Conference in Jerusalem
PUAH Conference in JerusalemYoni Kempinski

The Israel Medical Association (IMA) has joined the controversy around a conference that is to be held by the Puah Institute Wednesday, effectively declaring a boycott on the event.

"A doctor will not take part in phenomena of women's exclusion in the medical system," a statement by the IMA Ethics Bureau said. "The doctor, including the medical manager… will lead social processes that contribute to equality between the sexes… The doctor will not participate in any medical or scientific event in which women's exclusion takes place, whether the women are patients or doctors."

The IMA also criticized a recent prize ceremony at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in which, so it said, a doctor who received a prize was not allowed to go on stage and receive it because of the presence of rabbis.

In addition, the IMA was informed, a female nurse was requested to move to the men's section in the audience, along with the doctor.

The ceremony awarded prizes for scientific papers on medicine and Halakha. It was sponsored by the Health Ministry and held in the presence of Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (UTJ).

The Ethics Bureau of the Nurses' Federation and the President of Ben Gurion University had contacted the IMA to protest the "exclusion of women" at the ceremony. They also protested the upcoming Puah Institute event. Members of the Ethics Bureau of the IMA met the female doctor who had been "excluded" and issued a statement in which they bemoaned "a deep and wide social process of religious extremism that goes beyond the medical profession.