Maintaining Compassion for the Suffering Terminal Patient While Preserving Life: An Orthodox Jewish Approach
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Regardless of one's religious beliefs, the process of making end-of-life decisions is inherently difficult and emotionally trying. The caregiver, family member, or friend is faced with making heart-wrenching decisions for loved ones where the line between support and cruelty may feel blurred. By evaluating the process by which traditional Judaism harmonizes the apparently conflicting obligations of the caregiver in end-of-life scenarios through three practical cases, all people can gain insight into managing this delicate balancing act and may develop generalizable approaches that recognize and appreciate the particularities of each patient's needs. The traditional Orthodox Jewish approach to terminal illness is guided by defined legal principles that facilitate greater understanding and promote more empathetic care for Jewish patients.


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