SAFEGUARDING OUR HEALTH
BRCA, Genetic Testing, and Preventive
We all endeavor to protect our health, but we often question whether we do enough.
Scientists have recently identified the BRCA genetic mutations (common in Ashkenazi Jews) that significantly increase the
risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Are you obliged to test for it? And if you have it, how far should you go in taking preventive
measures? Where do you draw the line between keen vigilance and pointless panic?
Life vs. Prolonging Death
Resuscitate? Do not resuscitate? How does one decide what to inscribe in their living
will? The value of life is immeasurable, but is the same true for its increments? This lesson discusses the important end-of-life
decisions that we need to make today, and offers Jewish perspectives on dying with dignity.
Aborting One Life to Save Another
fertility treatment are often advised to reduce the number of fetuses in order to save a high-risk pregnancy. May we end the
life of one or two to save the lives of many? Is the fetus considered a life? This lesson discusses Judaism’s view
on the status of the fetus, and the ethics of choosing one life over another.
CONFRONTING THE ORGAN SHORTAGE
Should the Sale of Organs Be Legal?
the sale of organs may significantly increase the number of organs available for transplant, potentially saving many thousands
of lives. But what effects will this have on human dignity, and on the destitute pressed to sell organs to feed their families?
Is our obligation to save lives a precedent to override these concerns?
SANCTITY IN DEATH
Autopsy and Medical Dissection
Many states allow medical
schools to use unclaimed cadavers for anatomical dissection. Is this ethical? Is it ever moral to perform an autopsy over
a family's objections? Would Jewish law allow one to voluntarily donate his or her body to science? This lesson will examine
how Jewish law balances the dignity of the dead with the needs of society.
A GIFT OF GENERATIONS
The Ethics of Uterine Transplants
Until now, surrogacy has been the only solution for women without a healthy womb. However, a recently popularized new fertility
treatment, promises to bring them renewed hope. This lesson addresses fascinating ethical concerns surrounding uterine and
other non-vital-organ transplants and surgical procedures.