Life in the Balance

  • Modern medicine has brought us near miracles. It's also brought some of the most difficult decisions anyone can ever face. Are we obliged to prolong life even at the cost of terrible suffering? Should we legalize the sale of organs, such as kidneys, to save the lives of transplant patients? May a woman with a multiple-fetus pregnancy opt for fetal reduction, thus forfeiting the lives of some to possibly save others? When it seems that every available option is morally questionable, how do we decide?

    Fortunately, the Torah and the Talmud offer profound insight on such matters - and this course brilliantly delivers this great wisdom to us all.

    When it comes to the ethics of medicine, we're going to get real - even on the most challenging issues. We'll discuss actual case studies, examining multiple viewpoints as we seek answers to the central questions: What kind of action - or inaction - should we take? When should we take it? And when do we edge too close to playing G-d?

    More intriguing than any fictional TV show, this course is a fascinating presentation of the Jewish take on real-life moral quandaries  - and will help you prepare for critical decisions you may be called upon to make.

    Join us for Six Mondays
    Starting July 22nd 2019

    7:30-9:00 p.m.

    20550 Saunders Road
    Riverwoods, IL 60015

    $99 (textbook included)
    Join the first class free! Simply reply to this email to secure a spot.




    BRCA, Genetic Testing, and Preventive Measure s

    We all endeavor to protect our health, but we often question whether we do enough. Scientists have recently identified the BRCA genetic mutations (common in Ashkenazi Jews) that significantly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Are you obliged to test for it? And if you have it, how far should you go in taking preventive measures? Where do you draw the line between keen vigilance and pointless panic?


    Prolonging Life vs. Prolonging Death

    Resuscitate? Do not resuscitate? How does one decide what to inscribe in their living will? The value of life is immeasurable, but is the same true for its increments? This lesson discusses the important end-of-life decisions that we need to make today, and offers Jewish perspectives on dying with dignity.


    Aborting One Life to Save Another

    Couples undergoing fertility treatment are often advised to reduce the number of fetuses in order to save a high-risk pregnancy. May we end the life of one or two to save the lives of many? Is the fetus considered a life? This lesson discusses Judaism's view on the status of the fetus, and the ethics of choosing one life over another.


    Should the Sale of Organs Be Legal?

    Permitting the sale of organs may significantly increase the number of organs available for transplant, potentially saving many thousands of lives. But what effects will this have on human dignity, and on the destitute pressed to sell organs to feed their families? Is our obligation to save lives a precedent to override these concerns?


    Autopsy and Medical Dissection

    Many states allow medical schools to use unclaimed cadavers for anatomical dissection. Is this ethical? Is it ever moral to perform an autopsy over a family's objections? Would Jewish law allow one to voluntarily donate his or her body to science? This lesson will examine how Jewish law balances the dignity of the dead with the needs of society.


    The Ethics of Uterine Transplants

    Until now, surrogacy has been the only solution for women without a healthy womb. However, a recently popularized new fertility treatment, promises to bring them renewed hope. This lesson addresses fascinating ethical concerns surrounding uterine and other non-vital-organ transplants and surgical procedures.

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