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A Jewish Response to the Vatican's New Bioethical Guidelines

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The Vatican recently published directives (Dignitas Personae) regarding “beginning of life” issues that explain the Catholic Church's position regarding new technologies in this area. We think that it is important to develop a response that presents the traditional Orthodox Jewish position on these same issues in order to present an alternative, parallel system. There are many points of commonality between the Vatican document and traditional Jewish thought as well as several important issues where there is a divergence of opinion. The latter include the status of the zygote as produced during in vitro fertilization (IVF), the acceptable of procreation in a method other than through the conjugal act, and the permissibility of deriving benefit from the products of an illicit act. These points of agreement and disagreement are discussed in detail in this article.

Keywords: religion; reproductive technologies

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Gonda Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel 2: Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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