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

 

Question 2. 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

 

Question 3. 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 4. True or false: Jewish law always forbids organ donation.
 True
 False

 

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

 

Question 6. According to some Orthodox rabbinic authorities there is concern that the use of donor sperm to impregnate a woman who was having trouble conceiving would constitute what?
 Stealing
 Murder
 Adultery
 Impurity

 

Question 7. True or False: There is a case of genetic engineering in the Bible.
 True
 False

 

Question 8. 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

 

Question 9. 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 10. 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