Living and Dying with Dignity: Themes in Halakhah and Medical Decision-Making
Rabbi Daniel Reifman / December 1, 2020
Human dignity is a concept often invoked in contemporary medical ethics, especially in favor of patients’ right to choose the course of their treatment — or whether to continue treatment at all. This emphasis on patient autonomy has frequently put Jewish medical ethicists at odds with their secular counterparts, since halakhah significantly restricts an individual’s control over her body. Through a comparative analysis of secular and Jewish sources, we will consider how the concept of human dignity has developed over the past few decades, and whether there is a way to find common ground on issues like truth-telling to patients and end-of-life care.
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.