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September 3, 2015 | 19th Elul 5775

Bioethics Study Guide Information

The Bio-Ethics Study Guides are self-contained program guides featuring thought pieces, Jewish and secular resources, and program ideas on key issues that have to do with Reform Judaism and emerging medical technology. They are designed to be used in both formal and informal educational settings.

  1. A Time to Be Born: Examines issues of choices dealing with beginning-of-life matters.
  2. Autonomy-My Right to Live or Die: Explores issues relating to the ethics of limits on personal autonomy and decision-making.
  3. Termination of Treatments: Considers how Jewish tradition has approached issues of removing life support.
  4. Living Will/Medical Directives: Introduces the subject of how Judaism accepts the development of advance medical directives. (Can be used with the Department's book A Time to Prepare.)
  5. Genetic Screening/Human Genome: Investigates the beginnings of the genetics revolution from a traditional Jewish perspective.
  6. Voluntary Active Euthanasia-Assisted Suicide: Looks at how we as a Jewish community can begin to come to grips with this ethical dilemma. (Can be used with the Department's "Questions and Answers of Jewish Tradition on the Issue of Assisted Death " found on bioethics home page)
  7. Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources: Examines complex decisions such as how to ration scant medical resources, choosing whom to treat, and health care reform within a Jewish context.
  8. The Role of Pain and Suffering in Decision-Making: Introduces a detailed look at how these subjects have been viewed within the Jewish tradition and how they impact the ethics of decision-making.
  9. Organ Donation and Transplantation: Discusses in detail the modern Jewish view of the mitzvah of organ donation. Includes interfaith perspectives, rituals, etc. The Union's organ donation brochure is also available for order on the Bioethics page.
  10. Cloning: Introduces an examination of updated issues regarding the genetics revolution, the human genome project, and the issue of human cloning.
  11. Infertility and Assisted Reproduction: Analyzes how Jewish tradition is dealing with this emerging issue. This offers a new look at the commandment "Be fruitful and multiply."
  12. Genetic Testing: Studies the issue of the benefits of the genetics revolution and its impact upon issues of privacy, truth telling, and the ethics of testing.
  13. The Spiritual Challenges of Living with Chronic Illness: A guide to providing emotional and spiritual support to those who are suffering from chronic illness. The guide includes programmatic ideas for prevention awareness and support of those who are living with chronic illness, a sample healing service, text study, resources, and a number of deeply personal and moving stories.
  14. Jewish Approaches to Stem Cell Research: A guide created to initiate examination of stem cell research as well as to educate congregants about Stem Cell research from a Jewish perspective. The guide includes responsa, resolutions and statements from the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), The Rabbinic Council of America, the Union for Reform Judaism and respected medical and rabbinic professionals. It also includes thought pieces and current overviews from scientific and bioethical journals. For additional information please refer to Developments in Stem Cell Research.
  15. Alzheimer's and Dementia
To order please email Rabbi Edythe Mencher at

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