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Published by: outdash2 on May 12, 2010
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02/01/2013

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O R G A N
TR A N SPLA N TS
H a la c h ic A s p e c tso fO rgan
T ra n s p la n ta tio n
R a b b i
R e u v e n
fin k
O ver
th e
p a s t
tw e n ty
y e a r s ,
m odern
m e d ic in e
a n d
m e d ic a l
te c h n o lo g y
h a v e
m ade
g r e a t
a n d
e x c itin g
s t r i d e s
i n
e x te n d in g
l i f e
a n d
im p ro v in g
th e
c o n d itio n s
o f
l i f e
fo r
i l l
a n d
in firm
p e o p le .
P e rh a p s
th e
m ost
d a rin g
in n o v a tio n
h a s
b e e n
th a t
o f
tra n s p la n t\ue000
a tio n
su rg e ry .
T h is
n e w
te c h n iq u e
h a s
g iv e n
p e o p le
w ho
w ere
h e re to fo re
u n a b le
to
s e e
because of defective corneas
th e
a b ility
t o
s e e
th e
lig h t
o f
d a y
b y
th e
u se
o f
c o rn e a l
tra n s p la n ts .
P e o p le
su ffe rin gfro m
renal dysfunction w ho could not bear the rigors and
c o m p lic a tio n s
in v o lv e d
i n
h e m o d ia ly s is
h a v e
b e e n
g iv e n
a
n e w
le a s eo n
life afforded
th e m
b y
th e p o s s ib ility o f k id n e y
tra n s p la n ts .
P e o p le
p la g u e d
w ith
h e a r t
d is e a s e ,
th e
num ber
o n e
k ille r
in
th e
U n ite d
S ta te s , h a v e
n e w
h o p e , g iv e n
the ever-increasing success of
h e a r t
tra n s p la n ts .
T he
q u e s tio n
d e a lt
w ith
i n
th is
p re s e n ta tio n
is
th e
p erm issib ility
a c c o rd in g
t o
Jew ish
la w
o f
th e s e
n e w
s u r g ic a l
te c h n iq u e s .
A re
th e s e
s u r g ic a l
p r o c e d u r e s
i n
harm ony
w ith
th e
h a la c h a ?
W e
w ilt a tte m p t
t o
p r e s e n t
th e
ra b b in ic
ru lin g s
a n d
w ritin g s
o n
th e q u e s tio n o f tra n s p la n ts in
th eh o p e o f c la rify in g
th e p o s itio n
o f
th e
h a la c h a
o n
th e s e
n e w
a n d
m o n u m e n ta l
in ro a d s
i n
m odern
m e d ic in e .
R a b b io fY o u n g Isra elo fN ew
R o c h e lle , In s tr u c to ro f T a lm u d
-
H ebrew
A cadem yo ffiv e
T o w n s&
R ockaw ay
4 6
TH E
JO U R N A L
O F
H A lA C H A
I n
d is c u s s in g s u rg ic a l tra n s p la n ta tio n , a n im m e d ia te d is tin c tio n
m ust
b e
m ade
b e tw e e n
c a d a v e r
tra n s p la n ts
a n d
liv e
d o n o r
tra n s p la n ts .
E ach
o f
th e s e
c a te g o rie s
p r e s e n ts
i t s
ow n
p e c u lia r
problem s.
C adaver
tra n s p la n ta tio n
is
th e
p r o c e s s
b y
w h ic h
a n
o r g a n
fro m
a dead
p e r s o n
is
tra n s p la n te do n to
a
liv e
p a tie n t. L iv e
d o n o r
tra n s p la n ts
in v o lv e
th e
g ra ftin g
o f
a n
o r g a n
fro m
a
liv e
p e r s o n
t o
a
p a tie n tw ho
i s
i n
d ire
n e e d
o f
th a to r g a n .
T he
p ro b le m s
p r e s e n te d
b y
c a d a v e r
tra n s p la n ts
a re
th e
fo llo w in g :
1 .
N iu u I
H am et-
M u tila tio n
o f
th e
d e a d .
2 .
! s s u r
H a n a 'a n
-
T he
p ro h ib itio n
a g a in s t
d e riv in g
a n y
benefit from
a
d e a d
b o d y .
3 .
K evurat
H am er-
T he
re q u ire m e n tto
b u ry
a dead
p e r s o n
a n d
a ll
h is
p a rts
in ta c t.
1 )N iv u lH am et
T he
s o u r c e
fo r
th e
p ro h ib itio n
a g a in s t
m u tila tio n
o r
desecrationo f the dead
is f r o m
a b ib lic a l v e rs e ."A ndi f a m a n h a s
co m m itted
a
c a p ita l c rim e
a n d
w as
e x e c u te d ,
y o u
s h a ll
h a n g
h im
u p o n
a
t r e e
b u td o
n o t
a llo w
h is
b o d y
t o
rem ain
o n
th e
t r e e
a ll
n ig h t." i
T he
T a lm u d
e x p a n d s
th e
d e fin itio n
o f
th is
s t r i c t u r e ,
s ta tin g
th a t
a n y
act w hich
c a n
b e
c o n s tr u e d
a s
d e s e c r a tio n
o f
th e
d e a d
is
in c lu d e d
i n
th is
p ro h ib itio n .1
T he
T a lm u d
o ffe rs
a
num ber
o f
illu s tra tio n s
o f
w hat
i s
c o n s id e r e d
n iv u lh a m e t.
I n
r e f e r e n c e
t o
e x e c u tin g
a
m urderer,
th e
T a lm u d
a s k s :
" P e r h a p s
th e
v ic tim
w as
a
tr e ifa h ,
a
p e r s o n
w ith
a
fa ta l
o rg a n ic
d is e a s e ,
w h ic h
w o u ld
m ake
th e
o ffe n se
u n p u n is h a b le ?[T e c h n ic a lly , if s o m e o n e
k ills a p e r s o n
1 .
D e u te ro n o m y
2 1 :2 2 ,2 3 .T heS ifr e ia t th e e n do fP e s ik tll 1 1 , s ta tl'S
th a t th e
Iliv u l
ham etim p lied
i n
th e
in ju n c tio n
o f
/0
T a li"
isn o to n ly
h a n g in g
th ed e a d
o n
a
tre e ,
b u t
a ll
fo n n s
o f
d e s e c r a tio n
a re
in c lu d e d
in
th e
is s u r
T o r a n .
H ow ever,
R abbi
B .
E p s te in
in
h is
T o r a h
T e m im a h
le a rn s
th a t
it
is
m erely
a n
IlS m acn tll,
b e c a u s e
th e
v e r s e
r e f e r so n ly
to
e x e c u te d
crim in als.
S till,
fro m
th e
p a s s a g e
i n
Hl l l l i n
l I b
i t
is
c le a r
th a t
n iv lll h a m e t
is
m ill
h ll_ T o r a n .
2 .
S llu h e d r in
4 7 a .
O R G A N
T R A N S P L A N T S
w ho
w asd y in g
anyw ay, atr e ifa h ,
th e n h e c a n n o t b e
e x e c u te d
a s
a
m urderer.]I fy o u
s h o u ld
say, exam ine
th e
v ictim 's
b o d y
[ t o
see if he
h a d
a fatal disease] \ue000
th a t
w o u ld
b e
d e s e c r a tin g
th e
d e a d
a n d ,
h e n c e ,
fo rb id d e n .
S h o u ld
y o u
th e n
s a y
th a t
s in c e
a
m a n 's
l i f e
is
a t
s ta k e ,
d e s e c r a tio n
o f
th e
d e a d
is
a llo w e d ,
th e n
o n e c o u ld
a n s w e r th a t th e
p o s s ib ility
e x is ts
th a t
th e
m urderer
s t r u c k
th e
v ic tim
i n
a
p la c e
w here
h e
h a d
b e e n
su ffe rin g
fro m
a
fa ta l
w ound
a n d
th u s
rem oved
a n y
tra c e
o f
th a t
w o u n d ." J
C le a rly ,
th e
p r o c e d u r e
u n d e r
d is c u s s io n
w as
a
p o st-m o rtem
e x a m in a tio n
o f
th e
v ic tim
b y
c h e c k in g
h is
in te rn a l
o r g a n s
fo r
w ounds.
T h is
p r o c e d u r e
th e
T a lm u d
re je c ts
a s
t1 iv u l,
m u tila tio n .
A c c o rd in g ly ,
i t
w o u ld
s e e m
th a t
th e
rem oval of an
o r g a n
fro m
a
d e a d
b o d y
isprecludedb y Jew ish law, for there could ben o greater
d e s e c r a tio n
o f th e d e a d
th a n
tore m o v eb o d y p a rts . O b v io u s ly , th is
q u e s tio n
m ust
b e
g iv e n
m a jo r
c o n s id e ra tio n
in
a rriv in g
a t
a
h a la c h ic
d e c is io n .
2 )I s s u rH a n a 'a h
I n
r e f e r e n c e
t o
is s u r
h a tla 'a h ,th eT a lm u d
s ta te s th a t d e riv in g
a n y
" b e n e fit"
fro m
th e
d e a d
is
p ro h ib ite d .\u00b7 M o s t
o f
th e
ra b b is
c o n s id e r th is p ro h ib itio n
to be aT o ra h
la w . W h e th e r th eb o d y o f a
g e n tile
is
in c lu d e d
i n
th is
p ro h ib itio n
is
d is p u te d
am ong
th e
R is h o tlim .5
U sin g
c a d a v e r
o rg a n s
fo r
th e
p u r p o s e
o f
tra n s p la n ts
3 .
H u lli'l
lIb .
4 .
S lm h e d fin
4 7 b .T he
T a lm u d
uses a
g tu r a h
s h a t> a h
fro m
th e
burial of M iriam
a n d
tg ltlh
Ilru fllh ,
s h llm
-
sh llm .
R ash;
lo c .
C il.,
S .t> .
m tkom o
tllh o r
s a y s
s p e c ific a lly
th a t th e
i s s u rh a n a 'a h
ism i_ d \u00b7o rllitll.M ost o f th eR is h o n im
h o ld
th a t
th e
is s u r
h llu a 'llh
is
m i-d 'o fllila .
H ow ever,
R abbi
J a c o b
E m dm
i n
S h e 'e iltlt
\u00a5 1 l'Ilt> tts ,
n o .
4 1 ,
p r o v e s
th a t
th e
g u tr llh
s h llt> llh
i s
o n ly
a n
a s m llc h tll
a n d
th e re fo re
th e
i s s u ,
hl l l l l l 'l l h
i n
o n ly
m i-d 'r a b b lln o ll.
S .
T he
5 h u lc h a u
A fu c h
Y o ,e h
D eah
3 4 9 ;1 , s ta te s
d e a rly
th a t th e
i5 5 m
h lln ll'a h ,
th e
p ro h ib itio n
a g a in s t d e riv in g b e n e fit fro m
th e d e a d .isu te n d e d
to g e n tile s a s
w e ll
a s
to
Jew s.
T h tr e
a r e ,
h o w e v e t,
ra b b in ic
a u th o ritie s
w ho
d is a g r e e
a n d
m a in ta in
th a t
Ih e re
is
n o
in ju n c tio n
a g a in s t
d e riv in g
b e n e fit
fro m
a
g e n tile
c o r p s e .
B el
Y o s e f
in
h is
c o m m e n ta ry
o n
th e
T lH
b rin g s
Ih e
B e d tk
h il-B ily it
w ho
4 7

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