Publisher:  JTSA PRESS
Original Publisher:  JTSA PRESS
Published:  2012
Language:  English
Pages:   546

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About the Book

When may artificial technologies be used to help create human life? Can abortion be morally right? When should life-sustaining treatment be stopped? How extensive are my responsibilities to support the health care needs of others?

Technological and social developments have placed these questions at the center of society's concerns and in the middle of people's lives. Our answers will the shape the values and institutions of society, and will literally make the difference between life and death for many of its members.

The United States and other societies have explored these issues through courts and commissions, through legislative debate and private deliberations of conscience. In the Jewish tradition, the central means of addressing these concerns is through Halakhah, or Jewish law. While the insights of Halakhah are central to the lives of many Jews, these perspectives have also been found valuable by persons of other faith traditions and secular outlooks.

This book presents papers on biomedical ethics that integrate the resources of millennia with the most recent developments in medicine and ethical thought. These include some of the most thoughtful and important works in Jewish medical ethics on such issues as treatment decisions near the end of life, abortion, and reproductive technologies.

The importance of the papers as statements of Halakhah is evidenced by their approval by the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Halakhic guide for the Conservative (centrist) movement. Authors include Elliot Dorff, David Feldman, Isaac Klein, Avram Reisner, and Aaron Mackler.

A general introduction provides an orientation to the papers and their context, with explanations of traditional and contemporary approaches to Jewish law and ethics. In addition, each set of related papers is preceded by an introduction summarizing the documents and highlighting points of special interest, including conclusions of practical application.


New Page 72

Foreword / Gerald 1. Wolpe



Abbreviations Used in This Volume

Introduction / Aaron L. Mackler

1. Responsibilities in the Creation of Life

    A. Artificial Insemination 15

        1. Artificial Insemination: General Considerations and Insemination Using the Husband's Sperm / Elliot N. Dorff 17

        2. Artificial Insemination: The Use of a Donor's Sperm / Elliot N. Dorff 37

        3. Artificial Insemination and Reproductive Technologies: Using Donor Eggs, Donating Sperm and Eggs, and Adoption / Elliot N. Dorff  75

    B. In Vitro Fertilization 95

        4. In Vitro Fertilization / Aaron L. Mackler 97

    C. Surrogate Motherhood 123

        5. On the Use of Birth Surrogates / Aaron L. Mackler and Elie Kaplan Spitz 125

        6. On the Use of Birth Surrogates / Elie Kaplan Spitz 129

        7. Surrogate Parenting / Aaron L. Mackler 162

        8. Maternal Identity and the Religious Status of Children Born to a Surrogate Mother / Aaron L. Mackler 174

        9. Surrogate Motherhood / David H. Lincoln 188

II. Responsibilities for Fetal Life

    D. Abortion 193

        10. A Statement on the Permissibility of Abortion / Ben Zion Bokser and Kassel Abelson 195

        11. Abortion: The Jewish View / David M. Feldman 196

        12. A Teshuvah on Abortion / Isaac Klein 204

        13. Prenatal Testing and Abortion / Kassel Abelson 212

        14. Abortion: Major Wrong or Basic Right? / Robert Cordis 221

III. Responsibilities at the End of Life

    E. Medical Care at the End of Life 233

        15. Mai Beinaihu?: Dorff and Reisner on Medical Care for the Terminally III / Avram 1. Reisner 236

        16. Care for the Terminally Ill: Halakhic Concepts and Values / Avram 1. Reisner 239

        17. Care for the Terminally Ill: Practical Applications / Avram 1. Reisner 265

        18. End-Stage Medical Care: Methodological Concerns for a Jewish Approach / Elliot N. Dorff 292

        19. End-Stage Medical Care: Halakhic Concepts and Values / Elliot N. Dorff 309

        20. End-Stage Medical Care: Practical Applications / Elliot N. Dorff 338

    F. Medical Care at the End of Life: Additional Reflections 359

        21. On Halakhic Approaches to Medical Care for the Terminally Ill: A Response / Amy Eilberg 361

        22. On Halakhic Approaches to Medical Care for the Terminally Ill: A Response / Joel Roth 364

        23. Jewish Medical Directives for Health Care / Aaron L. Mackler, editor 366

        24. Peri- and Neonatology: The Matter of Limiting Treatment / Avram I. Reisner 386

    G. Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia 403

        25. Statement on Assisted Suicide / Elliot N. Dorff 405

        26. Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia / Elliot N. Dorff 407

IV. Responsibilities for the Health Needs of Others

    H. Organ Transplantation and Autopsy 435

        27. Autopsy / Isaac Klein 437

        28. Hesed or Hiyuv?: The Obligation to Preserve Life and the Question of Postmortem Organ Donation / Joseph H. Prouser 446

        29. Organ and Tissue Donation Card / Joseph H. Prouser, editor 471

    I. New Challenges 477

        30. Responsibilities for the Provision of Health Care / Elliot N. Dorff and Aaron L. Mackler 479

        31. Curiouser and Curiouser: Genetic Engineering of Nonhuman Life / Avram 1. Reisner 506

        32. Smoking: A Jewish Perspective / Seymour Siegel 523

For Further Reading 529

    A. Conservative Jewish Authors 529

    B. Other Jewish Works 530

    C. Selected General Works in Biomedical Ethics 531

    D. Selected Web Sites 532