The Sanctity of Human Life

The Sanctity of Human Life by David Novak 1589015045 9781589015043
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In The Sanctity of Human Life, Jewish theologian David Novak digs deep into Jewish scripture and tradition to find guidance for assessing three contemporary controversies in medicine and public policy: the use of embryos to derive stem cells for research, socialized medicine, and physician-assisted suicide. Beginning with thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Nietsche, and drawing on great Jewish figures in historyMaimonides, Rashi, and various commentators on the Torah (written law) and the Mishnah (oral law)Novak speaks brilliantly to these modern moral dilemmas. The Sanctity of Human Life weaves a rich and sophisticated tapestry of evidence to conclude that the Jewish understanding of the human being as sacred, as the image of God, is in fact compatible with philosophical claims about the rights of the human personespecially the right to lifeand can be made intelligible to secular culture. Thus, according to Novak, the use of stem cells from embryos is morally unacceptable; the sanctity of the human person, and not capitalist or socialist approaches, should drive our understanding of national health care; and physician-assisted suicide violates humankinds fundamental responsibility for caring for one another. Novaks erudite argument and rigorous scholarship will appeal to all scholars and students engaged in the work of theology and bioethics.

Author: David Novak

Language: English

Edition: 1

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 204

Publisher: Georgetown University Press

Publication Date: 2009-02-13


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