Jewish Bioethics

Describe and explain Jewish ethical teachings on Bioethics

Judaism is a religion based on a concept that there is a single divine God, beyond human understanding, who gives commandments, which constitutes a moral law for all humanity. This divine moral law is embodied in the Torah and continues to expand and evolve in a continuing flow of ethical and legal literature.

Jewish Bioethics are determined by ethical principles and adapt to deal with problems that arise. It epitomises the principles of Jewish ethics as the rules for a good and correct life.

Jews obtain their moral values from the Hebrew Bible, Judaism complements the authority of the written Torah with the Oral Torah. Oral Law is continually evolving as the Rabbis us its authority to interpret the written Torah. The authority of particular Rabbis hinges on their acceptance by their peers because of their outstanding knowledge.
When faced with problems not overtly covered in the torah, the laws are interpreted and their essential meanings uncover to arrive at appropriate conclusions.

The four golden rules of Bioethics are formulated from both the written and the oral Torah; Do not kill, each individual life is of infinite value and no one person’s life is more valuable than another, one’s life belongs to God, there is a duty on all to save life and heal the sick.

Bioethics deal with the ethical questions surrounding the taking, giving or altering of human life. The four golden rules of Bioethics relate to a person’s wellbeing and life. For Jews the ultimate question is how much a person is allowed to alter or tamper another’s life.

The Jewish bioethical system is based on duties and responsibilities as opposed to the secular view of rights. Abortion is one bioethical issue that is constantly argued and interpreted differently, mainly when life begins or is viable. In Judaism the fetus is not characterized as an independent until birth. The general rule is therefore that the mother’s...