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Medical Morals

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Medical Morals

A penetrating presentation on the ethical practice of medicine, ultimately addressing questions like: if G-d is the ultimate Healer, why are we permitted to heal, and is the practice of medicine a moral obligation? The entire lecture is ultimately based on a fuller and proper understanding of but two words of Scripture, which speak to us in the context of the obligation to indemnify victims of assault and battery. Many profound insights, fascinating historical tidbits and sacred traditions are mixed to provide an authentic Torah perspective on the science of healing.
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Doctor, Health, Illness and Healing, Medical Ethics, Medicine, Mishpatim

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5 Comments
Rena Brooklyn March 3, 2019

I enjoyed your talk on Medical Morals. I would like to know what is the halacha concerning vaccines. Many Jewish Schools are trying to force their students to vaccinate. I've read Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin's article on chabad.org and he writes: You cannot force a healthy person to vaccinate if he has a fear of the reactions even if it's irrational. Recently I discovered that the cell lines used in the production of vaccines is made from human fetuses.(farnsworthvaccines by Dr. Jessica Farnsworth) What would be the halacha for this new information? He's waiting for the Jewish decision. What's your view public or private? Reply

Sarah Denver March 6, 2019
in response to Rena:

I want to add to this,

why is halachically okay to vaccinate? I understand that a lot of exceptions are made with Halacha if someone is sick or has a life threatening condition. But how is it allowed to harm a perfectly healthy infant or child with a vaccine? The vaccine itself often makes the baby sick (with fever, or pain At the injection site at the very least), but more so, vaccines have known and real adverse reaction (find them on the insert from the cdc, for example, search for MMR insert ), so how is it okay to potentially harm your child?

More so, vaccines have non kosher ingredients from animals (bovine serum, and monkey cells for starters, see full list By searching for vaccine excipients ), and even aborted human fetal cells (wi-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts)!

Is it not immoral to be benefiting from abortion? And to be harming a child if they are not sick?? Reply

Craig Singer Detroit, MI February 13, 2021
in response to Sarah:

Dear Sarah,

Vaccines are scientifically proven to save lives and are the greatest medical advance of the 20th century. The benefit to risk ratio far outweighs vaccination over no vaccination. Unfortunately many people don’t see all of the illness we prevented by vaccinating. They only hear about the side effects, or what the Rabbi referred to as simply the effects. He also refers to treatment as the price you pay. Go back and listen to the 11 minute mark.

I have seen firsthand infectious diseases ( Such as hemophilus inf. B epiglottis) that should never have happened because the family refused to vaccinate. Have you ever seen a case of polio? Or smallpox? How many lives would have been lost without vaccination? If we save a million lives by vaccinating and somehow lose one life through vaccination, should we stop vaccinating?

Fortunately, the negative effects of vaccination are extraordinarily rare and such an argument to not vaccinate based on pain or fever is not justified. Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn February 16, 2021
in response to Craig Singer :

To Craig:
Your first statement is false. Man cannot "prove" scientifically or otherwise an unknown future event.
"When a man commits sins, he is deemed completely wicked, even if he violates a minor prohibition of the Rabbi's." (Tanya ch.1).
"Happy is the man who puts his trust in G-d and not turn to the arrogant and followers of deceit." (Psalms 40:5). Reply

Craig Singer detroit February 16, 2021
in response to Anonymous:

I didn't say we proved a future event. I meant we proved a past event.

We vaccinated people for smallpox and polio, and then these diseases were subsequently eradicated. Hence we spared countless infections through vaccination.

No sins were committed with vaccination. Reply

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