Medical professionals now have the opportunity to learn about the advances of medical science through the prism of Jewish ethical and philosophic traditions.
Jewish medical ethics series begins
The South Florida Center For Jewish medical ethics kicked off its Jewish medical ethics series of classes on Oct. 28 at Talmudic University in Miami Beach when Rabbi Yochanan M. Zweig, the university’s dean, spoke on the obligation of the physician to heal in Jewish Law and Rabbi Yossi Grossman, dean of the Jewish medical ethics Institute of Houston, discussed the difference between secular medical ethics and Jewish medical ethics.
The program brings together leaders at the forefront of medical science to dialog with rabbinical and legal scholars of international stature and has been accredited by The Florida Medical Association for Center for Medical Ethics credits.
When asked what he hopes people can get out of the program, Rabbi Yitzchak Winkler, SFCJE’s director, said, “Basically for that doctors can be more aware of cultural differences and that non-physicians can learn how to deal with some issues.”
All of the program’s classes take place at Talmudic University. The rest of the series features Professor Kenneth W. Goodman, Ph.D., co-director of the University of Miami’s Ethics Programs, speaking about the modern medical ethical issues faced at end of life, and Rabbi Doctor Barry M. Kinzbrunner, M.D., FACP, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, discussing the Jewish view point on these issues during the second session, Dr. Neal Wienreb, regional coordinator of the International Collaborative Gaucher Group, updating the audience on new genetic disease research and Dr. Daniel Eisenberg of the Department of Radiology Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia speaking on the Jewish medical ethics view of genetic testing during the third session, and Dr. Paul Kurlansky, director of research at the Florida Heart Research Institute, speaking about stem cells and the future of regenerative medicine and Rabbi Donald Bixon of Beth Israel Synagogue in Miami Beach speaking about Jewish medical ethics perspective on Research of stem cells during the fourth and final class.
Kurlansky described the series as a “fantastic one.”
“What it does is it helps to give people the perspectives and points of view to very complicated and extremely difficult situations that arise in medicine,” he added.
Kurlansky said that there’s a difference on how both the secular and Jewish world approach ethics.
“In the secular world, ethics derives from sort of a philosophical construct and you use that construct to try to apply into different situations based on your relationships,” he said. “Judaism is exactly the other way around.”
Jewish medical ethics
Kurlansky said that the Jewish approach to ethics is always based on tradition.
“Even though at the time the Torah was given at Sinai there were no computers and none of this stuff, yet, based on what has been given to us [Torah], we can abstract knowledge that applies directly to any situation in modern medicine,” he said.
For more information on the series, schedule of classes, and prices, e-mail Info@sfcje.org. To RSVP for a class, visit http://www.sfcje.org Talmudic University is located at 4000 Alton Road.
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