Duty and Healing: Foundations of a Jewish Bioethic

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Duty and Healing positions ethical issues commonly encountered in clinical situations within Jewish law. The concept of duty is significant in exploring bioethical issues, and this book presents an authentic and non-parochial Jewish approach to bioethics, while it

includes critiques of both current secular and Jewish literatures.

Among the issues the book explores are the role of family in medical decision-making, the question of informed consent as a personal religious duty, and the responsibilities of caretakers. The exploration of

contemporary ethical problems in healthcare through the lens of traditional sources in Jewish law is an indispensable guide of moral knowledge.

<%INTRODUCTION%> Goals and Framework

PROLOGUE: Duty and Clinical Ethics Consultations from a Jewish Viewpoint

SECTION 1. FAMILY: The Role of the Family in Medical Decision Making for Incompetent


SECTION 2. CONSENT: "The Reasonable Caretaker" and the Obligation to Consent

SECTION 3. COMPETENCY: Jewish Sources and the General Theory of Competency

SECTION 4. RISK: Principles of Judgement in Health Care Decisions

Steps in Healing and Duty

provide a fuller understanding, by placing the questions raised within a global and even cosmic context.' " --David Novak, University of Toronto (ONT)

studies, Freedman shows how a model of duty offers a distinctive and illuminating perspective on ethics consultations, family decisions, informed consent, determinations of competence, and judgments about risk. I strongly recommend this book (James F. Childress, Kyle Professor of

Religious Studies & Professor of Medical Education; Co-Director, Virginia Health Policy Center University of Virginia)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415921800
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/12/1999
  • Series: Reflective Bioethics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Freedman was a Professor of Medicine and Philosophy in the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University. He wrote extensively on bioethics and was most recently co-editor of Contemporary Health Care Ethics in Canada (1995). He died in 1997. Charles Weijer is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Office for Bioethics Education and Research at Dalhousie University.

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Table of Contents

The Book 1
The Author 4
Debts of Gratitude 9
The Purposes of this Book 13
Transliteration 24
Sources: Translation and Citation 25
Acknowledgments 28
Prologue: Duty and Clinical Ethics Consultations from a Jewish Viewpoint
The Model of Rights 35
The Model of Expert Counselor 39
The Model of Duty 43
The Consultation Process: Some Differences Between the Models 48
Judaism and Consultations: Morality Within Relationships 52
Sect. 1 Family: The Role of the Family in Medical Decision Making for Incompetent Persons
A Proper Family Role: The Standard View 75
Problems with the Standard View 81
Families as Proxies in the Standard View 89
A Family Duty 97
Judaism on Duties of Children to Parents: Respectful Service and Reverent Obedience 101
Duties of Children: Preventing Pain and Indignity 117
The Priority of Duty 127
Sect. 2 Consent: "The Reasonable Caretaker" and the Obligation to Consent
The Duty to Seek Medical Treatment 142
The Duty to Heal 147
The Doctrine of Informed Consent in Jewish Sources 152
The Nature of Medical Choice and Its Implications for Consent 163
An Alternative Construction: The Reasonable Caretaker 175
Sect. 3 Competency: Jewish Sources and the General Theory of Competency
Competence and Communication of Choice: The Minima 200
Competence and Roles: Competence as Capability and as Authorization 213
Defining Mental Illness Within a Social Context: The Need for Protection 228
Competency, Consent to Treatment, and Other Social Roles 241
Sect. 4 Risk: Principles of Judgment in Health Care Decisions
Allowable Risks 1: Risking Life to Lengthen Life 262
Allowable Risks 2: Risking Pain and Life for Quality of Life 279
Allowable Risks 3: The Threshold of Risk: "G-d Protects Fools" 300
Subjective Aspects of Risk: Definition and Presentation 309
Conclusion: Summarizing Halakhic Principles of Personal Medical Decision Making 319
Afterword: Next Steps in Healing and Duty 329
Sources of Jewish Law 333
Glossary 334
Index 336
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