This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the varied approaches in the history and literature of Jewish Law to issues in medical ethics related to the beginning of life, and their contemporary application. This will be achieved through the study of selected, illustrative topics from their earliest ancient legal roots, through medieval elaboration and codification, to contemporary judicial decisions.
The course shall also serve as an introduction to the history and literature of Jewish Law. The dynamic elements of the legal system will be systematically investigated. Some sessions will be devoted to a survey of legal and literary sources of Jewish Law based on work by Menachem Elon, “Jewish Law”, JPS, Phila., 1994.
The topics to be studied are: Abortion, Contraception, Artificial Insemination, Surrogate Motherhood, Ovum Donation and Cloning.