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Living and Dying with Dignity: Themes in Halakhah and Medical Decision-Making

Hosted By: Drisha

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.

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