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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: May 2012

16 - The Discourses of Jewish Medical Ethics

from PART IV - THE DISCOURSES OF RELIGION ON MEDICAL ETHICS
Summary
This chapter presents a small sample of the talmudic texts relating to issues in medical ethics. In general, modern Jewish bioethics has tended to proceed in the spirit of Maimonides, endorsing the enhancement of the capacity to heal. The chapter finds resistance to placing Jewish patients in institutions where the ritual dietary laws cannot be observed, numerous concerns over observing the Sabbath by both patients and staff in hospitals, insistence on details of ritual circumcision although accepting (some) medical innovations. Other issues in contemporary Jewish bioethics have a more clearly ethical dimension, often related to the valuation of humans as created in God's image. People committed to the halakhah have continued to turn to rabbinic leaders, and significant portions of the writings in modern Jewish bioethics are produced in the traditional form of responsa. The chapter draws insight for Jewish bioethics from biblical narratives and from rabbinic non-halakhic sources.
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The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics
  • Online ISBN: 9781139195812
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521888790
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