Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Medicine and Halacha

The high schools had the privilege last week of hearing from Professor Yonatan Halevy, Director General of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Yerushalyim.  Professor Halevy shared with them his rather unique insight into the interplay between modern medicine and Jewish Law which comes from his decades at the helm of the world's only modern hospital that operates fully in accordance with Halacha.

From stem cells to end-of-life issues, Professor Halevy sensitized the students both to the difficulty of the dilemmas that arise from time to time, while emphatically stating that there has never been a conflict between accepted best practice in modern medicine and the demands of Torah law that the medical experts and halachic experts couldn't jointly resolve.  In fact, he noted that some of the policies created at Shaare Zedek under the guidance of their poskim have been adopted by hospitals worldwide due to the sense that they best reflect ethical standards for medical practice.  In doing so he heightened the students' appreciation both for the work of Shaare Zedek and for the place of Halacha in the modern world.

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