Journal of Law and Health
Jewish law, euthanasia, assisted suicide, bioethics, organ transplants, suicide
Core values of the Jewish heritage are life and family, not death. An interpretation of Halachah which permits a broad definition of passive euthanasia without lapsing into acceptance of active euthanasia or its more evil cousin, assisted suicide, is consistent with these values. Also consistent with these values and the Jewish tradition is a modern definition of death which recognizes advances in medical technology that were beyond the knowledge or imagination of those who created the vast body of Rabbinic law. This approach will not only ease the suffering of families, it will allow organ transplants to save the lives of others and to thereby achieve t'kun olam, the repair of the world.
Stephen J. Werber, Ancient Answers to Modern Questions: Death, Dying and Organ Transplants - A Jewish Law Perspective, 11 Journal of Law and Health 13 (1996-1997)
Used with permisson of the Journal of Law and Health