JLI Medicine and Morals, Lesson 1
Choices, Choices: The Ethics of Patient Autonomy
The modern medical age offers hope for many dire medical situations, but does so at a price. As medical intervention increases, quality of life often decreases. This lesson examines Jewish perspectives on pursuing medical care, as well as declining it. Is it ever acceptable, or even preferable, to simply rely on faith, prayer, and one's own resources? How does Judaism justify medical intervention? And is it an obligation or a choice? May other family members force us to seek treatment that we do not want? Do our personal preferences and values hold any weight? And does the same hold true for children? This lesson examines the ethics of issues involving patient autonomy within the modern health care system.