Life-Support Decisions: The Jewish Perspective
A large component of the CMC’s work with Jewish hospital patients is in helping to deal with the reality of end-of-life issues. These issues are often very difficult and complex, and family members are frequently quite unprepared to deal with them. They may suddenly face the responsibility of making complicated decisions regarding the commencement, continuation or termination of life support for a dying patient. Further adding to the confusion, medical opinion on the patient may be inconclusive. Worse yet, even if presented as conclusive it is certainly still fallible. What is the Jewish perspective and what are some practical guidelines for the appropriate course of action to take under these exceedingly trying circumstances?