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What's the Jewish take on assisted suicide?


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Rabbi Gurkow: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?

jewishscoller: whats the jewish take on assisted suicide

Rabbi Gurkow: itis forbidden to take one;s own life or to help another take theirs

jewishscoller: but why, whats so bad about puting somebody out of there misery

jewishscoller: im sry to argue im am 100% against it i just want to get more details about it

Rabbi Gurkow: let me ask you if you think it is ok to help a young functional man or woman out of their misery because they want you to

jewishscoller: no

jewishscoller: but what if they are not functional

jewishscoller: what if they have no way out, no way to fight it.

Rabbi Gurkow: what is the diffrence to you between one who is old and non functional and young and depressed and therefore non functional?

jewishscoller: there is no difference

Rabbi Gurkow: if there is no difference then would you support killing off a nice thirty year old man who has gotten so depressed as to lose the will to love and now wants to die?

jewishscoller: no but it is he choice, god gave us that ability, unlike the angels

Rabbi Gurkow: so you are saying that you would agree to take this person's life?

Rabbi Gurkow: what is your reasoned response?

jewishscoller: i do not agree to take someones life, for it is hashems decision for when a person should rise and perish

Rabbi Gurkow: that is a faith reply

Rabbi Gurkow: now what is your reasoned reply?

jewishscoller: it is wrong to take a life of an innocent man just becosue he is depresed or sick,

Rabbi Gurkow: why?

Rabbi Gurkow: what if he wants to go

Rabbi Gurkow: we talk about living wills

Rabbi Gurkow: and if we knew that terri wanted to die we would agree to kill her right?

Rabbi Gurkow: so why is it different for a young man who wills it?

jewishscoller: this is not about terri this is about jack

Rabbi Gurkow: it is not about anyone

Rabbi Gurkow: it is about the issue

Rabbi Gurkow: I dont know who jack is

jewishscoller: jack kavorkian. a man who took the life of innocent people in an act of assisted suicide and got scentenced to jail, i am debating to keep him there and not legalize it

Rabbi Gurkow: ah, that jack

jewishscoller: that jack

Rabbi Gurkow: my argument is simply that if an elderly sick person has the right to end his or her life

Rabbi Gurkow: then so does a young vibrant man

Rabbi Gurkow: if we have that right then we all do

Rabbi Gurkow: and if we don't then we all dont

Rabbi Gurkow: so why are we so against killing a young man who wants to give up his life and commit suicide

Rabbi Gurkow: what is the fundemental difference between the two?

jewishscoller: and if there is a legal option for death more people will be doing it

Rabbi Gurkow: the only reason we distinguish the young from the old the healthy from the sick is because we receive feedback from them and when we stop receiving feeback we tend to feel unappreciated and tell ourselves that it is a waste. we are against suicide then for personal selfish reasons not for value of life reasons.

Rabbi Gurkow: when people realize that with a start they tend to understand that there really is no difference between healthy and non healthy living people and if are repulsed by suicide we ought be repulsed by also by euthenaisa

jewishscoller: i thank you rebbi for your advice, i must go now but i respect your opinion and i like how you presented it

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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G-d doesn't need my help deciding what life is of value.

Posted by: James on Jan 19, 2008

Think about it, when we choose when it is permissible to assist (or commit) suicide we are stating what type of life is worth living and what type is not. Who has value and who does not. Who is worth building up, healing or saving (redeeming) and who is not.

Wars, genocide and all manner of perverse and self important judgments become viable and those with greatest influence (power) have the privilege of playing G-d. This life is of valueless… this culture is valueless… this nation is valueless.

When we decide suicide is ok now and not ok then we are playing G-d, which is and eternity sized mistake.

I have a hard enough time doing the me sized things G-d puts before me, I think I’ll leave the G-d sized things to G-d.


Life Cycle » Death » Passing On
Miscellaneous » Health Issues » Medical Ethics