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Jewish Biomedical LawLegal and Extra-Legal Dimensions$
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Daniel B. Sinclair

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198268277

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268277.001.0001

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The Terminally Ill Patient

The Terminally Ill Patient

(p.181) 5 The Terminally Ill Patient
Jewish Biomedical Law

Daniel B. Sinclair

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a brief survey of the pre-modern law of the goses, which sets the scene for a detailed discussion of the attempts by modern halakhic authorities to deal with the complex and morally challenging debate surrounding the withdrawal of sophisticated life-support technology from terminally ill patients. The gap between the natural death context of the old sources and the hospitalized terminal patient of contemporary times is a dramatic one, giving rise to a host of legal and moral issues. In addition, there is the very basic question of how to read halakhic sources set in an ancient medical setting in a way that will endow them with significance for contemporary times.

Keywords:   terminal patient, life support, euthanasia, halakhah, Jewish biomedical law

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