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Israel - Rabbis Urge Religious Public to Volunteer as Organ Donors

Published on: September 25, 2011 11:23 PM
By: More at Jerusalem Post
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**FILE** Doctors of Hadassah Medical Center perform lung surgery at the Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem. Photo by Nati Shohat Flash90**FILE** Doctors of Hadassah Medical Center perform lung surgery at the Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem. Photo by Nati Shohat Flash90

Israel - A new initiative designed to raise the number of people signing up for organ donation cards has been formally approved by Tzohar, the religious- Zionist rabbinical group.

In a meeting at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, 40 rabbis from the organization voted to approve a new organ donor card and framework which seeks to reduce any concerns potential religious organ donors may have that their organs will be harvested in a manner in keeping with Jewish law.

“We want to encourage Israeli society to acknowledge and embrace the importance of saving someone else’s life,” Tzohar chairman Rabbi David Stav told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “We also believe that it is immoral to be willing to accept organs from others while at the same time not be willing to donate your own organs if such circumstances should arise.”

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Brain death was established by the most respected arbiter of Jewish law of recent times, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, to be the relevant criterion for declaring death, although he stipulated that tests be conducted to confirm.

For this purpose, an organization called Arevim, comprising more than 30 doctors around the country competent in the Jewish laws regarding the issue, was set up.

Director of the Bilvavi system, Haim Falk, told the Post that being a signatory to the new system will mean that a doctor from Arevim will be present when the time of death is pronounced to provide an extra guarantee that any transplants will be in accordance with Jewish law.

There are three halachic concerns regarding organ donation: a prohibition against desecrating a corpse; delaying burial; and deriving any kind of benefit from a corpse. Most rabbis today accept that the life-saving possibilities made possible by organ donation outweigh these concerns.


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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 26, 2011 at 12:32 AM Anonymous Says:

the chasm between Modern orthodox and chareidi grows bigger every day. Its sad to watch them drift away...

2

 Sep 26, 2011 at 12:33 AM Anonymous Says:

In the US there's a great organization called "Renewal" that has facilitated over 125 transplants from "LIVE" donors.
Its unbelievable to hear and read how people are willing to do the ultimate sacrifice to save a life. I'm not an halachic authority to give my opinion about what exactly is considered death, but one thing is for sure giving life to others "while alive" is "bigger than big".

3

 Sep 26, 2011 at 01:14 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

In the US there's a great organization called "Renewal" that has facilitated over 125 transplants from "LIVE" donors.
Its unbelievable to hear and read how people are willing to do the ultimate sacrifice to save a life. I'm not an halachic authority to give my opinion about what exactly is considered death, but one thing is for sure giving life to others "while alive" is "bigger than big".

You're talking of live donors like a kidney. The question here is of something like a heart.

btw, if brain dead is considered dead, can the wife al pi halacha marry another man when her husband is brain dead?

4

 Sep 26, 2011 at 05:52 AM qazxc Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

the chasm between Modern orthodox and chareidi grows bigger every day. Its sad to watch them drift away...

Don't worry. They may drift away but eventually the chareidim will come back to normal yiddishkeit.

5

 Sep 26, 2011 at 07:10 AM qazxc Says:

ELUL!!! Three days to yom hadin!!!

This is how you refer to the chareidim, as drifting away, just because they are maikel in hatzolas neshemos???

How on earth are you going to do teshuvah???

6

 Sep 26, 2011 at 08:36 AM bored Says:

The quote from Reb Moshe is misleading he says brain death to the extent which a person can no longer breath on his own is called death. Not simply brain death alone. See igros yo'd 2 146 and yo'd 4 44. He specifically says both activities need to stop to be dead.

7

 Sep 26, 2011 at 09:01 AM bored Says:

Its such a shame everyone likes to misquote Reb Moshe. Its understandable why of course. The organs are much more viable when taken from brain dead people who are still breathing. But taking a heart out of someone in this state is murder as Reb Moshe himself writes.

8

 Sep 26, 2011 at 09:15 AM qazxc Says:

Ever notice that the same people who quote reb moshe ztk"l on the Flatbush eruv and brain death and consider anyone who doesn't follow his psak in these matters almost entirely 'frei', also look down on those who are somaich on reb moshe ztk"l to drink USDA milk?

9

 Sep 26, 2011 at 09:21 AM qazxc Says:

Ever notice that the same people who quote reb moshe ztk"l on the Flatbush eruv and brain death and consider anyone who doesn't follow his psak in these matters almost entirely 'frei', also look down on those who are somaich on reb moshe ztk"l to drink USDA milk?

10

 Sep 26, 2011 at 10:30 AM Chaim Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

You're talking of live donors like a kidney. The question here is of something like a heart.

btw, if brain dead is considered dead, can the wife al pi halacha marry another man when her husband is brain dead?

No. That would lead to thousands of women claiming their husbands are brain dead - they already do.

11

 Sep 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM Anonymous Says:

When organs are removed from a "brain dead" donor, all the vital signs of the “donors” are still present prior to the harvesting of organs, such as: normal body temperature and blood pressure; the heart is beating; vital organs, like the liver and kidneys, are functioning; and the donor is breathing with the help of a ventilator. Furthermore that approach is required for most transplant surgery, because vital organs deteriorate very quickly after a patient dies. "After true death," he said, "unpaired vital organs (specifically the heart and whole liver) cannot be transplanted.”

12

 Sep 26, 2011 at 04:38 PM Renewal Says:

Renewal is as charedi as it gets. When it comes to real pikuach nefesh, as always, charedim are in the forefront.

13

 Sep 26, 2011 at 05:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
qazxc Says:

ELUL!!! Three days to yom hadin!!!

This is how you refer to the chareidim, as drifting away, just because they are maikel in hatzolas neshemos???

How on earth are you going to do teshuvah???

The chareidim are not the ones promoting wholesale murder.

The halacha is one cannot touch a goses because you may hasten death and be oiver on retzicha. Thus we see that how much life is left makes no difference, it is still considered murder.

According to may poskim, the people who they want to rip orrgans out of are still considered alive, al pi halacha. Regardless of their remaining quality of life. Accordingly, it is those who want to rip out organs that are being meikel in murder.

It is not a new halacha that you cannot killl one person to save the life of another.

In your haste to make what you supposed was a "smart" comment, you ignored basic halacha. Not surprising.

14

 Sep 27, 2011 at 05:21 AM Darth_Zeidah Says:

Q. How many charedim in need of a heart transplant (c"v) would turn down the offer of a new heart "donated" by a brain-dead person?

A. Not a single one.

15

 Sep 27, 2011 at 12:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Darth_Zeidah Says:

Q. How many charedim in need of a heart transplant (c"v) would turn down the offer of a new heart "donated" by a brain-dead person?

A. Not a single one.

And you know this because? Can you cite a study, not even scientific, but any study at all. Not just your own fantasies?

16

 Sep 27, 2011 at 01:08 PM qazxc Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

The chareidim are not the ones promoting wholesale murder.

The halacha is one cannot touch a goses because you may hasten death and be oiver on retzicha. Thus we see that how much life is left makes no difference, it is still considered murder.

According to may poskim, the people who they want to rip orrgans out of are still considered alive, al pi halacha. Regardless of their remaining quality of life. Accordingly, it is those who want to rip out organs that are being meikel in murder.

It is not a new halacha that you cannot killl one person to save the life of another.

In your haste to make what you supposed was a "smart" comment, you ignored basic halacha. Not surprising.

I never addressed the halachic issues.

My comment was one of disgust at the readiness of some people to write that an entire group of other yiddin are drifting away.

I'm no talmid chochom but I know a lack of mentchlichkeit and a ready supply of sinas chinam when I see it.

17

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