Law Proposal for the Establishment of the National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of
Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population
(Note: Content parts – "Rationale", Sections 1-6, Section G – "Amendments to other laws",
Administrative parts – sections – 7-27
Hebrew version – http://www.singulariut.com/2013/03/659)
The longevity and quality of life of the elderly population are crucial national priorities, necessary for the normal functioning of the entire society. On the contrary, the deteriorative aging process is the root cause and main endangering factor for most chronic diseases afflicting the developed world generally and Israel in particular.
The death rate in Israel is approximately 0.52%, out of which over 90% die as a result of age-related diseases due to the aging process. In other words, each year approximately 40,000 residents of Israel die from aging, twice the number of all the casualties of war throughout the country’s history, and twice the number of all deaths from traffic accidents throughout the country’s history.
According to the report of the Bank of Israel, published in March 2012, both the private and public national expenditures on the senescent population in Israel (persons over 65 years old, comprising about 10% of the country’s population) is NIS 9.9 billion (~$ 2.5 billion) yearly, which comprises 1.2% of the entire Gross Domestic Product.
Aging is a basic material process manifesting in the accumulation of damage, the gradual deregulation of metabolic balance, and impairment of normal functioning. This is a process causing the largest proportion of disability and mortality, and is the major endangering factor for most chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and other diseases – and it should be treated accordingly.
Yet, medical research in Israel and other developed countries focuses on the symptoms of the deteriorative aging process and not on its prevention or treatment. Despite their immediate importance, palliative measures, such as increasing nursing care, will not drastically improve the healthy longevity of the elderly, will not resolve the economic burden and human suffering caused by the process of aging, but will only slightly relieve and postpone them. In contrast, investments and efforts in the research and development directed toward prevention and treatment of the deteriorative aging process, if given sufficient support, may be able to bring about a substantial improvement.
While the deteriorative aging process, that is the accumulation of structural damage, impairment of metabolic balance and functioning, is a disabling and debilitating process that requires prevention and treatment; the rise in healthy life-expectancy is its cure. In other words, the spiritual maturation during the years and the increase in healthy life expectancy are not and should not be synonymous with degeneration and deterioration.
The trends of increasing healthy life-expectancy, as well as the results of basic research on aging, indicate the practical possibility of intervention into the aging process and the chronic diseases derived from it, and as a result demonstrate the practical possibility of healthy life extension for the elderly population.
This positive process can be reinforced and accelerated for the long term by regulated support of basic and applied research, as well as technological, industrial and environmental development directed toward delaying and treatment of the deteriorative aging process and for improving the quantity and quality of life for the elderly population.
These measures will reduce the burden of the aging process on Israeli economy and will alleviate the suffering of the aged and the grief of their close ones. On the positive side, if granted sufficient support, these measures can increase the healthy life expectancy for the elderly, extend their period of productivity and their contribution to the society, and enhance their sense of enjoyment, purpose and valuation of life.
In view of this and in accordance to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and in accordance to the Jewish principle: “Do not reject a soul for another soul” – there is a need to give to the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population the necessary support that they deserves, and hence establish the National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population.
Part A. Commentary
“Minister” – Prime Minister.
“Committee” – the National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population.
Part B. The National Advisory Committee
Section A. The Establishment of the Committee and it Functions
2. The establishment of the committee
Hereby the National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population is established.
3. The committee as a corporate entity
The committee is a corporate entity
4. The community as a regulated body
The committee is a regulated body as defined in paragraph 9(6) of the State Controller Law of 1958 (consolidated version).
5. The committee functions:
a. The committee will determine the policy for scientific research, technological development, public and academic education and institutional coordination for the improvement of longevity and quality of life for the elderly population, so it shall become the basis for the committee activity and the government activity in this area. In case the committee determines a policy on a subject within the area of its function, the head of the committee will submit it for the government approval upon a request by the committee.
b. Without detracting from the general statement in paragraph (a), the committee functions will include the following:
1. Formulating policy and acting to promote cooperation between governmental departments, national and international research institutes and other organizations active for improving longevity and quality of life for the elderly population;
2. Providing long-term planning for the implications of an increase in life-expectancy in Israel;
3. Acting for the establishment, development, management and maintenance of appropriate research and action frameworks, services and programs, for improving longevity and quality of life for the elderly population, in cooperation with relevant governmental departments.
– Providing grants and scholarships for research aimed to delay and treat the deteriorative aging process and promote longevity and quality of life for the elderly population, particularly in the fields of regenerative medicine, nano-medicine, bio-gerontology and optimal hygienic life-style for aging persons;
– Encouraging investments in biotechnology and medical technology companies, as well as in academic and public organizations for research, development and application – that will be involved in the prevention and treatment of the deterioration caused by the aging process and its derivative chronic diseases.
4. Acting for the expansion of education and raising public awareness about the damage caused by the aging process, about potential ways to minimize this damage and scientific developments in the field.
– Encouraging the collection of up-to-date, evidential scientific information regarding the optimal hygienic life-style for aging persons and providing education on the subject to the health care community and the wide public.
– Acting to create academic and communal leraning frameworks and programs on basic and applied research of aging and promotion of longevity and quality of life for the elderly population, including its biological, medical and social aspects;
5. Assisting governmental and local services in providing consultation and direction for the treatment of the aged in Israel.
– Acting to improve the living conditions of the elderly, including the development of means of access and convenience in their daily life.
– Acting to create and expand social, educational and occupational frameworks involving the aged and encouraging their integration with the entire population.
Section B. The committee council
6. The committee council
a. The committee will have a council including 22 members who will be appointed by the minister, subject to approval by the government. The appointment announcement will be published on record.
b. The council will include the following members:
1. A representative worker of each of the following government departments: the office of the prime minister; the ministry of interior; the ministry of health; the ministry of finance; the ministry of education; the ministry for senior citizens; and the ministry of science and technology;
2. A representative of each of the following organizations: the Council for Higher Education; the Israeli Medical Association; the National Insurance Institute of Israel; the National Council for Research and Development; the Office of the Chief Scientist;
3. An expert in each of the following fields: bio-gerontology; geriatrics; biotechnology; medical technology; social work; financial planning; science, technology and society – who will be appointed by the minister, on the recommendation of heads of relevant Israeli academic institutions.
4. Three representatives of the public active in the promotion of longevity and quality of life for the elderly, in the scientific and social fields, who will be appointed by the minister and on the recommendation of the rest of the council consisting of the representatives of the government departments, the public organizations and academic institutions.
c. Upon request of the minister, the council is entitled to invite to its meetings an additional functionary as a constant participant.
d. The council is entitled to invite to its meetings an additional functionary as a constant participant on the recommendation of a sub-committee consisting of a least three members of the council, including representatives of government departments, public organizations and academic institutions.
7. Chair and vice-chair
The chair of the committee will be elected out of all the members of the council by all the members of the council and with an approval by the minister.
The vice-chair, acting as chair-deputy, will be elected by all the members of the council out of the experts who are members of the council and with an approval by the minister.
8. Term of service
The term of service of the members of the council who were appointed according to paragraph 6, will be three years. A council member whose term of service ended can be reappointed. A council member whose term of service ended will continue to serve until the appointment of another member instead or until reappointment according to the circumstance.
9. Relief from duty of a council member
The minister can relieve a council member from duty in the following cases:
1. The committee member has been convicted of a morally reprehensible offence;
2. The committee member is unable to carry out his/her function due to health reasons;
3. The committee member has been unjustifiably absent from four consecutive meetings of the committee.
10. Replacement of members
If a council member stopped the service for which she/he was appointed to the council, or did not fulfill the conditions under which he/she was appointed, or else resigned, was relieved from duty or died, a new council member will be appointed in his/her stead in the same way in which the exiting council member was appointed.
11. The council functions
The council functions will be:
1. Establishing the directions of the committee activity;
2. Guiding the committee directorate in its duties and supervising its activities;
3. Discussing the annual budget proposal as stipulated in paragraph 18, as well as the annual report and every other subject related to the committee activity.
12. Appointment of a Sub-Committee
The council is authorized to appoint, out of its members, for a subject within the area of its function, a permanent sub-committee or a sub-committee for a specific topic. It can appoint a chair for the sub-committee and delegate to the sub-committee a part of its powers as it determines. However, the council will not delegate to the appointed sub-committee the following powers:
1. The power to establish the directions of the main committee activity according to paragraph 11.1.
2. The power to discuss and introduce changes to the budget proposal according to paragraph 11.3 preface.
A decision of the committee or a sub-committee will not be made invalid only because, at the time of the decision making, a position of a member of the committee or a sub-committee was vacant due to any reason.
13. Order of discussions
a. The minister, in consultation with the committee, is authorized to determine regulatory instructions regarding the legal quorum, the methods of convening the committee council and its sub-committees and the management of their meetings, the order of voting, the powers of the chair of the committee council or the powers of a chair of a sub-committee, the reimbursement of expenses incurred by the committee council members and directorate members who are not committee workers or state workers, due to their participation in the committee council meetings, its sub-committees or its directorate.
b. The committee council and its sub-committees will determine their working orders, if those were not determined by regulations as said in sub-paragraph “a.”
c. The committee council will convene at least four times a year.
Section C. The committee director, the committee directorate and its functions
14. The committee director, his/her service and powers
a. The minister, in consultation with the committee council, and with an approval by the government, will appoint the committee director. The minister, in consultation with the committee council, is authorized to appoint a deputy to the committee director.
a1. The term of service of the director will be five years. The minister, in consultation with the committee council and with an approval by the government, is authorized to re-appoint the director at the end of every term of service for an additional term of service.
a2. The service of the director will terminate in one of the following events:
1) The director resigns with a written announcement that is submitted to the minister via the committee council;
2) The minister, in consultation with the committee council and with an approval by the government, determines that the director is permanently unable to perform his/her function;
3) The minister, in consultation with the committee council and with an approval by the government, decides to relieve the director from duty due to reasons that will be specified.
a3. Subject to the directives of the present law and according to the decisions of the committee council and its directorate, the director will have all the powers necessary to manage the committee, including representing it and signing agreements in its name, excluding the power to sign international agreements.
a4. The director is permitted to delegate his/her powers according to this law to a worker among the workers of the committee and to authorize him/her to sign any document in the name of the committee.
b. The affairs of the committee will be managed by the directorate which will consist of the committee director, his/her deputy – if appointed as said, and ten members who will be appointed from among workers of each of the following government departments: the office of the prime minister, the ministry of finance, the ministry of health, the ministry of education, the ministry of science and technology, the ministry for senior citizens, and the ministry of interior, one representative of the public and two representatives of academia who will be appointed by the ministers in consultation with the committee council from among the committee council members who are not state employees.
c. The number of the directorate members will not exceed twelve.
15. The directorate functions
The directorate functions are:
1. Acting to implement the functions of the committee according to the instructions of the council;
2. Preparing the annual budget of the committee and its submission to the committee directorate;
3. Submitting to the committee directorate the annual report regarding the committee activities and any other report as requested by the committee directorate regarding the committee activities;
4. Publishing the annual summary regarding the committee activities;
5. Submitting to the minister, according to his/her request, reports or information regarding any affair within the framework of the functions and powers of the committee directorate;
6. Appointing the committee workers and determining their functions and powers, according to paragraph 17.
16. Powers of the committee directorate
The committee directorate is empowered to implement, in the name of the committee, any activity required for the execution of the committee functions in accordance with this law, excluding the activities that have been dedicated by this law to the committee council.
17. Committee workers
a. The minister will determine, in consultation with the minister of finance, the standards for the committee workers.
b. The law for accepting workers to the committee and their appointment will be as the law for state employees, with changes that will be determined by regulations.
c. The salary and working conditions for the committee workers, including the director and director deputy, will be as the working conditions for state employees and will be coordinated as determined by the committee directorate with an approval by the minister.
Section D. Budget and Finance
a. The directorate will prepare, to the date determined by the council, the annual committee budget and will submit it to the council. In special circumstances, the directorate is allowed to submit a budget proposal for a period shorter than a year as well as an additional budget proposal.
b. The council will discuss the budget proposal and will submit it to the minister with an addition of changes as it sees fit.
c. The committee budget is subject to an approval by the minister.
The committee budget will be financed from the state treasury and from grants and donations that the committee will receive.
Section E. Activities of the government departments and supervision over the committee
20. Activities of the government departments
The government departments will act in cooperation with the committee on subjects within the area of the committee functions. Regulations determined by the minister as regards the committee functions will be performed in consultation with a minister responsible for implementing the particular law.
a. The committee will submit to the minister a report each year, regarding its activities. Also, the committee will publish the yearly summary of its activities.
b. The committee will submit to the minister, at any time by the minister’s request, reports as well as current and topical information on any subject within the framework of the committee functions and powers.
Section F. Various regulations
22. Exercise of power
The existence of the council, its sub-committees or the directorate and the validity of their decisions will not be impaired if a position was vacated by a member whose appointment was flawed.
23. The law pertaining to the committee is as the law pertaining to the state
The law pertaining to the committee is as the law pertaining the state, in the following matters:
1. Payment of taxes, stamp duty, fees, rates, levies and other compulsory payments;
2. Civil Wrongs (Liability of the State) of 1952;
3. Relief by way of injunction.
24. The laws pertaining to the committee director, deputy of the committee director and the committee workers
a. The laws pertaining to the committee director, deputy of the committee director and the committee workers (hereafter “committee workers”) as regards this legislation are as the laws pertaining to state employees:
1. The Knesset Elections Law (Consolidated Version), 1969;
2. The Civil Service Law (Classification of Party Activity and Fundraising), 1959;
3. The Public Service Law (the Regulations), 1980;
4. The Public Service Law (Restrictions After Retirement), 1969;
5. The Evidence Ordinance (New Version), 1971;
6. The Civil Wrongs Ordinance (New Version).
b. The Civil Service (Discipline) Law of 1963 (hereinafter – the discipline law) shall apply to the committee employees as if they were state employees. For this purpose, in the discipline law, “the Prime Minister” will replace the “Minister,” in every place in the said law referring to the Minister. And “the committee director” will replace “the general director” in every relevant place in the said law.
25. Preservation of powers
The directives of this law do not detract from the power of authority granted by any law.
26. Implementation and Regulations
The prime minister is responsible for the implementation of this law and he is entitled to introduce regulations in any matter pertaining to its implementation, with an approval of the Knesset Committee for the Constitution, Law and Justice.
This law will commence at the end of six months after the day of its publication.
Section G. Amendments to Other Laws.
1. The Public Health Ordinance. Addition of Part 7.
After Part 6 “Directives for the Struggle against the Disease of Malaria,” there will appear Part 7 “National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population.”
In this part, it will be written:
“1. The National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population will supply continuous directives and updates to the health care community and the senior citizens community regarding the currently available means to reduce the damage of aging and prolong the healthy and active life for the aged population. This will be done according to the law for the establishment of the National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population.
2. The National Advisory Committee for the Promotion of Longevity and Quality of Life for the Elderly Population shall act to advance scientific research, technological development, medical treatment and public and academic education in order to reduce the damage caused by the deteriorative aging process and the chronic diseases which accompany it and derive from it, such as cancer disease, heart disease and diabetes, and any additional age-related metabolic disease.”
2. The Equality for People With Disabilities Law, 1998. Amendment to Chapter A:
Fundamental Principles 2.
After the sentence “The purpose of this law is to protect the dignity and liberty of a person with a disability,” there will appear “produced by any cause whatsoever, including aging.”
That is to say, in this chapter, it will be written:
“The purpose of this law is to protect the dignity and liberty of a person with a disability, produced by any cause whatsoever, including aging, and uphold his/her right to participate equally and actively in the society in every aspect of life, as well as to provide a worthy solution for his/her special needs in such a way that will allow him/her to live the life with maximal independence, privacy and dignity, while fully fulfilling one’s capabilities.”
3. The National Health Insurance Law, 1994. Amendment to “Section 3. The right to health care services. D”
After “health services” there will appear “and services for the extension of active life.”
That is to say, in this section, it will be written:
“D. Health services and services for the extension of active life, included in the basket of health services, will be granted in Israel according to the medical judgment, with a reasonable quality, within a reasonable time, and at a reasonable distance from the residence place of the insured – all within the framework of the financing sources available to the Health Maintenance Organizations according to section 13.”
4. The Good Samaritan Law (“Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor”), 1998. Amendment to Section 1a.
After “1a. A person must provide help to a person found in front of him, due to a sudden event” it will be written “disease, exhaustion or accident,”
That is to say, in this section, it will be written:
”A person must provide help to a person found in front of him, due to a sudden event, disease, exhaustion or accident, in a situation of grave and immediate danger to his/her life, to the integrity of his/her body or his/her health, when it is within the person’s reach to offer help, without endangering oneself or others.”
Dr. Ilia Stambler