Preventive vs. curative medicine: Perspectives of the jewish legal tradition

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 8 (3):269-286 (1983)
From the perspectives of Jewish tradition, particularly that of the Halakhah (Jewish law), this paper considers the policy problem of the balance in health care allocations between preventive and curative or crisis medicine. Since the value of human lives has a high degree of supremacy, and the duties to rescue imperiled life and to treat the sick are recognized, it might be argued that a basically curative policy should be favored. On the other hand, the duty of personal health maintenance and safety would appear to argue in favor of a preventive policy. In balancing these considerations, it is suggested that the halakhic tradition can accommodate a preventive policy of health care because the duty to rescue is lessened or negatived by risk to the as-it-were rescuers. It is further suggested that Halakhah permits a non-divertable allocation of tax-generated funds to preventive health care. Keywords: Preventive medicine, curative medicine, value of human lives, duty to rescue, risk taking, Jewish law ( Halakhah ), charity tax CiteULike Connotea What's this?
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