Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics

Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics

by Elliot N. Dorff
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The incredible medical breakthroughs of today, like genetic engineering, in-vitro fertilization, and cloning have transformed long-held beliefs on the nature of both life and death; they raise difficult moral and religious questions. In Matters of Life and Death, Elliot Dorff addresses the unavoidable confluence of medical technology and Jewish law and

See more details below

Overview

The incredible medical breakthroughs of today, like genetic engineering, in-vitro fertilization, and cloning have transformed long-held beliefs on the nature of both life and death; they raise difficult moral and religious questions. In Matters of Life and Death, Elliot Dorff addresses the unavoidable confluence of medical technology and Jewish law and ethics.

Dorff has been studying and consulting on biomedical ethics for more than thirty years. He discusses modern medical ethical dilemmas from a specifically Conservative Jewish point of view. He addresses issues such as artificial insemination, genetic engineering, cloning, surrogate motherhood, and birth control, as well as living wills, hospice care, euthanasia, organ donation, and autopsy.

How do we decide which innovations to accept as appropriate in the face of Jewish tradition and which to reject? As author Elliot Dorff points out, Jewish law and ethics can be used as a foundation on which to build a contemporary perspective and understanding of the dilemmas posed by modern medicine.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For many years now, religious thinkers have been at the forefront of medical ethics. Catholic and Jewish writers and physicians, in particular, have taken great care to address ethical questions raised by modern medicine and to examine how those ethical questions impinge upon their religious traditions. In this book, Dorff, a Conservative Jew who has participated in the Ethics Committee of the UCLA Medical Center, argues that "moral values [are] an integral part of the Jewish legal process by which contemporary decisions should be made." As Jews confront ethical questions surrounding the beginning of life and the end of life, according to Dorff, they must do so with religious law in one and their moral sensitivities in the other. In the book's first section, Dorff summarizes the beliefs underlying Jewish medical ethics--"the body belongs to God," "human worth stems from being created in God's image," "Jews have a mandate and duty to heal," "Jews must sanctify God's name"--to demonstrate their importance for contemporary discussions of Jewish medical ethics. Dorff then addresses a number of issues of medical ethics, ranging from infertility and the use of artificial insemination and issues surrounding reproductive technologies to assisted suicide, organ donation and the distribution of health care. In contrast to many Orthodox rabbis, who oppose donor insemination, Dorff argues in favor of the procedure because he says it helps couples to achieve "a precious goal in Jewish law and thought, the bearing of children." Though this and other of Dorff's positions are likely to be controversial within and without Judaism, his book is a thorough introduction to Jewish medical ethics. (July)
Choice

"[A] well-organized and comprehensively researched volume. The variety of sourcing from classic and contemporary Jewish scholars in theology, ethics, history, and law, along with the extensive bibliography and well-done index, render this work eminently useful."—Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780827606470
Publisher:
Jewish Publication Society
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
476
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.46(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >