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. In the Talmud, the vital sign distinguishing life and death is
 the heart beating
 the ability to say the name of God


Question 2. 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 3. According to the Talmud, when does a soul enter a baby's body?
 At conception
 After the first trimester
 When the child first answers Amen to a blessing
 No one knows


Question 4. From a Jewish perspective, what is the best way of screening for genetic diseases?
 Carrier screening
 Pre-implantation screening
 Prenatal testing
 No screening is allowed at any point


Question 5. 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 6. Which Jewish tenet overrides all others in the debate regarding whether organ donation should be permissible acccording to Jewish law?
 Saving a life
 Love your neighbor like yourself


Question 7. Which of the following denominations allow organ donation?
 Modern Orthodox
 All of the above


Question 8. True or False: There is a case of genetic engineering in the Bible.


Question 9. 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


Question 10. True or false: Judaism sees the termination of a pregnancy as murder.