Contact Us
Leveling a critique at widely accepted principles of medical ethics, Professor Glick argues that medical ethics cannot be based only on biology or philosophy, but on the “sanctity of human life." (A Professor David Sevel Memorial Lecture)

The Sanctity of Human Life

The Sanctity of Human Life

Historic roots and current directions in bioethics

 Email

The Sanctity of Human Life: Historic roots and current directions in bioethics

Leveling a critique at widely accepted principles of medical ethics, Professor Glick argues that medical ethics cannot be based only on biology or philosophy, but on the “sanctity of human life." (A Professor David Sevel Memorial Lecture)
Medical Ethics, Value of Life, Euthanasia; "Quality of Life", Health, Illness and Healing
Professor Shimon Glick is a renowned expert on Jewish medical ethics. He is former dean of the Ben Gurion University Faculty of Health Sciences and former head of the Lord Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits Center for Jewish Medical Ethics at the institution. He also served for over a decade as Ombudsman for Israel's National Health Service.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
8 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Rita Cooper, OT Fulton, MO July 1, 2012

Thank you. Thank you Professor Glick: for this thought provoking, refreshing, beautiful and forceful lecture; for people who want to learn and lead a righteous life. Your analysis of bio ethics and the sanctity of human life is full of wisdom, insight and value, because thank G_d , you do not leave out Torah. We humans are all created in the image of G_d! Thank you so much, may I say Professor Glueck, which stands for Happiness? I am working in skilled nursing facilities and have lost 3 husbands in intensive care and my personal opinion is that the sanctity of human life always has to come first, because the CREATOR said so: in a world that is so complicated and often evil. Reply

Anonymous Scotland June 29, 2012

Superb Thank you so much Reply

Anonymous Stroudsburg, PA June 29, 2012

Vancouver, BC Everyone is born with a right to choose. Some do not know their choices, sometimes, until they are told that that's the only choices they have. When they know that there are no other alternatives (meaning there was not anything hidden and no ulterior motives were attached) then they make the best choice for themselves. No one has the right to tell another person what they should and should not do with their body/life, no? That's like me with my kids. They're free to leave the home of me and my wife if they come up with a plan that frees us from any and all responsibility and we approve of that plan. They will also get money when they leave 'cause they will not ever get to return; unless they are visiting. Some people know any and everything and don't understand consequences; they do stuff 'cause they want the experience. They don't care if its good, or bad. They don't care who gets hurt. They just want the experience. That's not dark, that's detrimental. Reply

Leah Urso Israel June 29, 2012

Happy birthday Fascinating lecture! Thank G-d I live in Israel where people rush to your aid without giving it a second thought! Happy birthday Professor Glick. May you live to be 120 years! Reply

Dr. Avraham ben Rafael June 21, 2012

Idealism vs Reality? While I agree with the ideals that Dr Glick has so articulately expressed (and emulate those in my interactions), social politics is usually overwhelming force. This is perhaps why nazi monsters of yesteryear and maniacal tyrants of certain middle eastern states of today are able to ignore the sanctity of life without the remotest hindrance from within their social environment. Ethical behavior based upon the sanctity of all life is not "teachable". It is an inculcated response to generations of exposure to similar ethical values of one's family and peers. Reply

Anonymous vancouver, B.C. June 19, 2012

The Sanctity of Human Life Why ask that question anyways if you want to live or die.

It's dark and it's not an option. Reply

Mary Ann King Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S. June 19, 2012

End of Life There are thousands of disabled-elderly residents in U.S. nursing homes who are systematically drugged, starved and dehydrated to death....all in the name of "PROFITS." When the U.S. proports itself to be the humanitarian watchdog for the rest of the world...we must realize that the watchdog is fed and bled by the corporations who bank those "PROFITS." Reply

Anonymous Stroudsburg, PA June 18, 2012

The Sanctity of Human Life There are individuals who care nothing for their life (or that of others). They want nothing. The more you give the more they take. Their goal, still remains nothing. I am assigned with saving a life and realize that the individual does not care whether they live or die. Then I ask if they would like to live, or die, explain what I can, give the necessary literature (videos, pamplets, etc) and make certain that they understand, and sign statements to that effect and whatever they decide in the end is just what they will get. I could go home to my wife and family and bed knowing that I did my part, regardless of my personal feelings, opinions, etc. Neutrality is not easy, but at least you don't have to worry about some frivilous lawsuit that stems from "personal beliefs and convictions". I am damned if I will save someone's life and be sued by that same person, just like I refuse to be sued by relatives of one that chose his/her faith. I rather be an Attorney than Doctor. Reply

Noted scholars and experts in their fields share their knowledge at the Oxford University Chabad Society.