Last updated on: 10/20/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

J. David Bleich, PhD Biography

Title:
Rabbi at the Yorkville Synagogue and Herbert and Florence Tenzer Professor of Jewish Law and Ethics at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University
Position:
Con to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“Not infrequently, the patient, if capable of expressing his desires and allowed to follow his own inclinations, would opt for termination of a life which has become a burden both to others and to himself. Judaism, however, teaches that man does not enjoy the right of self-determination with regard to questions of life and death. Generations ago our Sages wrote, ‘Against your will you live; against your will you die’… [These words] may be taken quite literally as an eloquent summary of the Jewish view with regard to both euthanasia and the withholding of life-sustaining treatment. Judaism has always taught that life, no less than death, is involuntary. Only the Creator, who bestows the gift of life, may relieve man of that life, even when it has become a burden rather than a blessing.”

Judaism and Healing: Halakhic Perspectives, 2002

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to end-of-life issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to end-of-life.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Rabbi, Yorkville Synagogue
  • Herbert and Florence Tenzer Professor of Jewish Law and Ethics, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
  • Professor of Talmud (Rosh Yeshiva), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS)
  • Rosh Kollel, Yadin Yadin Kollel (Institute for the Study of Jewish Monetary Law), Yeshiva University
  • Fellow, Woodrow Wilson
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Hastings Center
  • Fellow, Academy of Jewish Philosophy
  • Contributor, Tradition
  • Member, Governor’s Commission on Life and the Law, 1984-present
Education:
  • PhD, New York University, 1974
  • MA, Columbia University, 1968
  • BA, Brooklyn College, 1960
Other:
  • None found