Pioneers in Jewish Medical Ethics illustrates the ways in which the Bible and Talmud have influenced the practice of medicine in modern times. The core of the book is dedicated to a detailed presentation of the work of four rabbinic giants who shaped the field of Jewish medical ethics: Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits, and Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg. The contributions of these men have made realm of Jewish medical ethics the complex field it is today. From medieval debates over the use of mumia (a medicine derived from Egyptian mummies) to organ transplants, Pioneers in Jewish Medical Ethics traces moral dilemmas faced by traditional Jewish practitioners of medicine. Subjects such as birth control and abortion, treatment on the Sabbath, autopsies, euthanasia, as well as numerous others, are integral issues which are evaluated in this volume. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's enormous influence on the medical halachah is presented in two sections: one by Rabbi Moshe D. Tendler, and the other by Dr. Fred Rosner. Rabbi Zalman Auerbach's significant contributions to medical halachah are duscussed by Dr. Avraham Steinberg. The work of Rabbi Immanuel Jakovits, characterized as the undisputed father of Jewish medical ethics, is offered in detail by his son, Dr. Yoel Jakobovits. Finally, Dr. Steinberg discusses the renowned Rabbi Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg, one of the living giants of medical halachah. Rabbi Nisson E. Shulman also provides brief biographical notes and extracts from the works of seven prominent contemporary specialists in Jewish medical ethics. Pioneers in Jewish Medical Ethics concludes with a chapter on trends and prospects, by Rabbi Jakobovits, in which he speculates about future developments in this field.
by Fred Rosner