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עמוד בית
Sat, 18.05.24

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January 2020
Osher Cohen MD and Enrique Freud MD

Falling from a height accounts for 14.1% of all hospital admissions for traumatic injury. In 5% of cases, the injury is severe or critical, and in 1.5%, it is fatal. The dangers of falling have been recognized since time immemorial. Indeed, the Bible instructs us to build a parapet around the roof of our home so that, “…you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from it” (Deuteronomy 22:8). This commandment highlights the relatively simple and practical means by which we can prevent falls. It is also one of a series of ethical laws that are presented to help us understand and obey the larger Biblical precepts of loving one’s neighbor and guarding the sanctity of life. The concept teaches us that it is the responsibility of all individuals to be cognizant of others and to avoid harming people through negligence or carelessness. The aim of this article is to explain the commandment to build a parapet in the context of the risk of falling from a height and to expand on its wider implications. The present work was prompted in part by the alarming increase in fatal and near-fatal accidents in Israel in two particular populations.

September 2017
Sody A Naimer MD and Edward Fram MA MPhil PhD

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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