Patient Autonomy in the Dying Process: A Jewish Perspective

Posted On Feb 10, 2014 / 5774 | Philosophy Social Justice

Patient Autonomy In The Dying Process: A Jewish Perspective
The Ben Zion and Baruch M. Bokser Memorial Lecture

Autonomy is not generally regarded as a value in any area of Jewish law (halakhah) but the dying process may very well be an exception. This lecture explores Rabbi Moses Feinstein’s approach to establishing an appropriate balance between the strong Jewish legal mandate to preserve life and the value of maximizing patient autonomy. Rabbi Feinstein’s biblical and talmudic sources, as well as the philosophical and ethical implications of his theory for end-of-life issues in Jewish and comparative law, were discussed.

Rabbi Dr. Daniel Sinclair, LLB [Hons], LLM, and PhD, is currently the Wolff Fellow in Jewish Law and visiting professor of Law at Fordham University Law School in New York City; full professor of Jewish Law and Comparative Biomedical Law at the Haim Striks School of Law at the College of Management – Academic Studies [COMAS] in Rishon LeZion, Israel; and adjunct professor of Comparative Biomedical Law at the Hebrew University in Jersualem. In the course of his doctoral studies at the Hebrew University, he was awarded the prestigious Jacob Herzog Memorial Prize in Jewish Law.

Dr. Sinclair has published more than 50 articles in the fields of comparative biomedical law and Jewish law, and on the infinfluence of Jewish law on the legal system of the State of Israel, the relationship between halakhah and ethics, and the jurisprudence of Jewish law. He is the author of Tradition and the Biological Revolution and Jewish Biomedical Law: Legal and Extra-Legal Dimensions. He also edited the volumes Law, Judicial Policy and Jewish Identity in the State of Israel and Jewish Biomedical Law in Israel.