My Jewish Learning

Jewish Bioethics Quiz

When Jewish thinkers consider issues like euthanasia, abortion, and organ donation, they articulate diverse positions on the relationship between Jewish law, Jewish ethics, and secular ethics. How much do you know about Jewish bioethics?

Question 1. According to Jewish law, is the morning-after pill permitted?
 Yes, because the fertilized egg does not count as a pregnancy until 40 days have passed
 Yes, because the fetus is not viable on its own, and thus doesn't count as a person
 No, because all forms of abortion are prohibited
 No, because abortions have to be performed by specially trained Jewish doctors in order for them to be sanctioned by halakhah


Question 2. According to Jewish law, what is a goses?
 A terminally ill patient, who is expected to die within 72 hours
 Someone who has been given a terminal diagnosis, but whose life expectancy is unknown
 A corpse within one day after death
 A person who wants to die


Question 3. According to Jewish law, which of the following is true of abortion?
 Life begins at conception, so abortion is tantamount to murder
 Traditional Jewish law does not consider a fetus to be a human being
 If a woman's life is endangered by her pregnancy she still must have the baby
 Abortion is permissible under all circumstances; the rabbis did not claim ownership over women's bodies


Question 4. According to Jewish law, the permissibility for a healthy person to donate an organ (such as a kidney) is dependent on what?
 Whether or not one is a priest
 Whether or not one is a religiously observant person
 The risk of the procedure
 Whether or not the recipient is a religiously observant Jew


Question 5. According to Jewish law, is therapeutic genetic engineering and gene manipulation sanctioned?
 It is sanctioned because it may help save lives in the future
 It is prohibited, because it does not help save lives in the present
 Is it prohibited because it is tampering with God's work
 It is sanctioned because it is fixing God's mistakes


Question 6. Which of these legal and ethical issues are still up for debate among Jewish authorities?
 If several people need a given organ, how do we decide who gets priority?
 Can organs be sold?
 Can organs be used without permission?
 All of these
 None of these


Question 7. The concept of a surrogate mother is introduced in the Bible with which characters?
 Hagar and Sarah
 Hannah and Peninah
 Rachel and Leah
 Lot's Daughters


Question 8. True or false: Judaism sees the termination of a pregnancy as murder.


Question 9. Jewish genetic diseases occur
 only in the Ashkenazi community
 only in the Sephardic community
 only in those who descend from converts
 in all Jewish communities


Question 10. Couples should be genetically screened
 Before they get married
 In the week after they get married
 After they have conceived a child
 Between their first and second children