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. True or False: All Jews are pro-choice.
 True
 False

 

Question 2. 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 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. True or False: There is a case of genetic engineering in the Bible.
 True
 False

 

Question 5. What is the one principle that can be singled out for its prominence in Jewish bioethical discourse?
 God is at the center of all decision making
 There is a duty to save and preserve human life wherever possible
 Preventing pain is the most important factor in all medical decisions
 Both A and C

 

Question 6. True or false: In recent years, some liberal rabbis have suggested that active euthanasia be permitted in certain cases where the pain experienced by a terminally ill patient diminishes his/her ability to live in the image of God.
 True
 False

 

Question 7. True or false: Jewish law always forbids organ donation.
 True
 False

 

Question 8. According to most traditional Jewish authorities, who is legally considered the father of a child born via donor sperm?
 The man who raises the child
 The man who provides the sperm
 They are both considered fathers of the child
 The child is considered to have no father

 

Question 9. 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 10. Nazis claimed that
 Jews were predisposed toward breast cancer
 Jews were predisposed to be very smart
 Jews were genetically inferior to non-Jews
 Jews all wanted to be blond