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, the permissibility for a healthy person to donate an organ (such as a kidney) is dependent on what?
 Whether or not one is a priest
 Whether or not one is a religiously observant person
 The risk of the procedure
 Whether or not the recipient is a religiously observant Jew


Question 2. True or False: There is a case of genetic engineering in the Bible.


Question 3. 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 4. What is the rabbinic position on stem cell research?
 The majority of contemporary halakhic authorities sanction it
 The majority of contemporary halakhic authorities prohibit it
 It is prohibited because equally good cells can be gathered from an umbilical chord
 It was forbidden by the rabbis of the Talmud, but has been permitted by contemporary Orthodox authorities


Question 5. 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 6. According to Jewish law, when does a fetus acquire the rights of a person?
 When it is conceived
 When its movements are perceptible by the mother
 When it reaches its due date
 When it is born


Question 7. 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 8. 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 9. 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 10. True or false: In some situations, Jewish law actually requires a woman to have an abortion.