Dealing with death in the jewish legal tradition

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (3):297-305 (2009)
The main theme of the article is the tension between the obligation to preserve life, and the value of timely death. This tension is resolved by distinguishing between precipitating death, which is prohibited, and merely removing an impediment to it, which is permitted. In contemporary Jewish law, a distinction is made between therapy, which may be discontinued, and life-support, which must be maintained until the establishment of death. Another theme is that of “soft” patient autonomy, and its role in dealing with the dying in both traditional Jewish law and Israel’s Terminal Patient Law, 2005. Preventing suffering in relation to a dying person, and praying for his or her death are also discussed in the article.
Keywords Obligation to heal  Timely death  Precipitating death  Removing an impediment to death  Therapy  Life-support  Preventing suffering in relation to the dying  Praying for the death of a suffering dying person
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DOI 10.1007/s11673-009-9176-z
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Plato (1880/1972). The Trial and Death of Socrates. Freeport, N.Y.,Books for Libraries Press.
No am Zohar (1997). Alternatives in Jewish Bioethics. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

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