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Jewish Medical Ethics

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Medical Halacha Habburah 

The Medical Halacha Habburah, one of the keystone projects of the RIETS biomedical ethics program, will take an in depth look at various issues on the cutting edge of the interaction between medicine and Halacha. We will present the medicine and physiology relevant to the topic, examine the basic halachic texts, and critically analyze the modern opinions in light of the science and the sources. For the upcoming semester (Spring 2012), we will cover 'End of Life Issues,' including initiating, withholding, and withdrawing life saving care, undergoing risky procedures, and defining death. This course will be led by Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai, MD. Rabbi Dr. Shabtai is a fellow of the Wexner Kollel Elyon of RIETS. He received his semichah from RIETS in 2009 and MD from NYU School of Medicine in 2010. He is the author of the book Defining the Moment: Understanding Brain Death in Halacha (Shoresh Press: New York, 2012) and various articles relating to science / medicine and Halacha.  The lectures of this class, as well as the sources, are available at the YUTorah website.


Halachic Challenges in Medicine 

As a counterpart to the RIETS course offered to Rabbinical Students, Rabbi Dr. Shabtai will be teaching a course to undergraduate students in the Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies throughout the course of this year.  The goal of this course is to familiarize the participants with the many practical challenges of medicine for a persona dedicated to Halacha.  While these challenges are indeed prevalent in many professional fields, medicine presents a special variety of halachic questions and difficulties that are explored throughout this course.  This course is targeted to all students interested in the topic- not necessarily those considering a medical profession.  The course syllabus  and topics are available for download by clicking on the links on this page.  Additionally, Rabbi Dr. Shabtai's lectures are available at the YUTorah website.   


Bioethics Journal Club 

The Bioethics Journal Club is a collaborative program between the Yeshiva University Medical Ethics Society and the RIETS Center for Medical Halacha.  The Bioethics Journal Club aims to promote the exploration of ethical and moral issues that arise in the related fields of Medicine and the Life Sciences.  Through guided discussions of contemporary and classical journal articles, the club plans to provide a forum for serious discussion of these issues.  Open to undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and health professionals, the Bioethics Journal Club aims to actively explore bioethics dilemmas and challenges from varying perspectives in an effort to learn about the complexities inherent in modern medicine.