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. In the Talmud, the vital sign distinguishing life and death is
 the heart beating
 the ability to say the name of God


Question 3. 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 4. True or false: In some situations, Jewish law actually requires a woman to have an abortion.


Question 5. True or False: All Jews are pro-choice.


Question 6. According to Jewish law, is therapeutic genetic engineering and gene manipulation sanctioned?
 It is sanctioned because it may help save lives in the future
 It is prohibited, because it does not help save lives in the present
 Is it prohibited because it is tampering with God's work
 It is sanctioned because it is fixing God's mistakes


Question 7. Nazis claimed that
 Jews were predisposed toward breast cancer
 Jews were predisposed to be very smart
 Jews were genetically inferior to non-Jews
 Jews all wanted to be blond


Question 8. 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 9. According to traditional Jewish sources, when does death occur?
 When the heart stops beating
 When breathing totally and irreversibly ceases
 When a person says the Shema and closes his/her eyes for the last time
 Any of the above


Question 10. The concept of a surrogate mother is introduced in the Bible with which characters?
 Hagar and Sarah
 Hannah and Peninah
 Rachel and Leah
 Lot's Daughters