My Jewish Learning

Jewish Bioethics Quiz

When Jewish thinkers consider issues like euthanasia, abortion, and organ donation, they articulate diverse positions on the relationship between Jewish law, Jewish ethics, and secular ethics. How much do you know about Jewish bioethics?

Question 1. According to Jewish law, is the morning-after pill permitted?
 Yes, because the fertilized egg does not count as a pregnancy until 40 days have passed
 Yes, because the fetus is not viable on its own, and thus doesn't count as a person
 No, because all forms of abortion are prohibited
 No, because abortions have to be performed by specially trained Jewish doctors in order for them to be sanctioned by halakhah


Question 2. From a Jewish perspective, what is the best way of screening for genetic diseases?
 Carrier screening
 Pre-implantation screening
 Prenatal testing
 No screening is allowed at any point


Question 3. Couples should be genetically screened
 Before they get married
 In the week after they get married
 After they have conceived a child
 Between their first and second children


Question 4. Which Jewish tenet overrides all others in the debate regarding whether organ donation should be permissible acccording to Jewish law?
 Saving a life
 Love your neighbor like yourself


Question 5. What is the one principle that can be singled out for its prominence in Jewish bioethical discourse?
 God is at the center of all decision making
 There is a duty to save and preserve human life wherever possible
 Preventing pain is the most important factor in all medical decisions
 Both A and C


Question 6. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are
 Lung diseases common in Sephardic families
 Asthma conditions common in the Hasidic community
 Breast cancer genes commonly found in Jewish women
 Screening procedures for Jewish genetic diseases


Question 7. The traditional Jewish principle guiding end-of-life decisions is that nothing can be done to hasten death, but _____________ can be removed.
 Anything that hindrances death
 Feeding tubes and IVs
 Medications other than those that combat pain
 Unpleasant odors


Question 8. According to Jewish law, actively hastening the death of a dying person is akin to what?
 Putting a stumbling block in front of a blind person
 Defiling Shabbat


Question 9. True or False: There is a case of genetic engineering in the Bible.


Question 10. According to Jewish law, which of the following is true of abortion?
 Life begins at conception, so abortion is tantamount to murder
 Traditional Jewish law does not consider a fetus to be a human being
 If a woman's life is endangered by her pregnancy she still must have the baby
 Abortion is permissible under all circumstances; the rabbis did not claim ownership over women's bodies