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Balancing Acts: Legal and Moral Perspectives on End-of-Life Decisions

Rabbi Daniel Reifman / July 13, 2017

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The decisions we make in caring for a dying patient are fraught with emotion. They are also the subject of intense debate among medical professionals and bioethicists, no less within the Jewish community than within society at large, and the tension between traditional Jewish and modern secular positions often complicates these decisions even further. The difference between modern and traditional perspectives on end-of-life care is often framed as the choice between honoring the patient’s autonomy vs. insisting on preserving every moment of life. Yet closer analysis reveals a more complex picture, as halakhists and bioethicists struggle to balance the needs of patients, caregivers and family members. Join us we take a fresh look at some of the key legal and moral issues in this important contemporary discussion.




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Rabbi Daniel Reifman

Daniel Reifman is the Rosh Kollel of the Drisha Summer Kollel and has taught Talmud and halakhah at Drisha for close to 20 years.  He holds a PhD in hermeneutics from Bar Ilan University and received his rabbinic ordination and an MA in Tanakh from Yeshiva University. During the year, he teaches at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and at the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies at Bar Ilan. Click here to access podcasts recorded by Daniel Reifman.


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