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Opinions Conflict on Ending Life Support

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/opinions_conflict_on_ending_life_support_20031107

The Florida case of a woman on life support for 13 years has put issues of how we die and when and how doctors and others should intervene on the front page. Whatever the courts say about that case, however, will only apply to federal and Florida law. What would Jewish law say about such a case? That question is important because the issues raised in that case confront Jews often as they care for their parents, spouse and other loved ones and as they contemplate their own dying process. The basic Jewish principle about these matters is clear: We are, on the one hand, not allowed to hasten the dying process, but on the other, we are not supposed to prolong it either.

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