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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.04.24

Jewish Ethics

IMAJ | volume 19

Journal 9, September 2017
pages: 586-589

Revisiting the Jewish Ethical Approach Toward Perimortem Cesarean Section in Light of Emerging Medical Evidence

Summary

Background: 

Maternal cardiac arrest during gestation constitutes a devastating event. Training and anticipant preparedness for prompt action in such cases may save the lives of both the woman and her fetus. 

Objectives:

To address a previous Jewish guideline that a woman in advanced pregnancy should not undergo any medical procedure to save the fetus until her condition is stabilized. 

Methods:

Current evidence on perimortal cesarean section shows that immediate section during resuscitation provides restoration of the integrity of the mother’s vascular compartment and increases her probability of survival. We analyzed Jewish scriptures from the Talmud and verdicts of the oral law and revealed that the Jewish ethical approach toward late gestational resuscitation was discouraged since it may jeopardize the mother. 

Results: 

We discuss the pertinent Jewish principles and their application in light of emerging scientific literature on this topic. An example case that led to an early perimortem cesarean delivery and brought about a gratifying, albeit only partially satisfying outcome, is presented, albeit with only a partially satisfying outcome. The arguments that were raised are relevant to such cases and suggest that previous judgments should be reconsidered.  

Conclusions:

 The Jewish perspective can guide medical personnel to modify and adapt the concrete rules to diverse clinical scenarios in light of current medical knowledge. With scientific data showing that both mother and fetus can prosper from immediate surgical extrication of the baby during resuscitation of the advanced pregnant woman, these morals should dictate training and practice in urgent perimortal cesarean sections whenever feasible. 
 

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