Jun 1, 1981
XIX. ON MEDICAL ETHICS
The Rabbinical Council of America in Convention assembles, ratifies herewith the following resolution presented by its Commission on Medical Ethics:
Biblical ethics is the ethical foundation for Western Civilization.
The basis of Biblical ethics is the axiom that human life is of infinite worth. Economic considerations are secondary to the concern for saving human life.
We note with regret that the confidence in the economic prowess of American society has diminished considerably. Soul – searching decisions are now required to allocate our scarce economic resources. The finite resources of our society cannot suffice for all aspects of social welfare despite the infinite worth of the human being.
The very nature of society in the future will be determined by the way in which triage decisions are made. Who will decide? What will be the philosophical, moral, ethical, and social basis for establishing priorities?
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT:
a. Dialogues among persons of expertise in relevant fields be arranged in order to determine the extent to which resources fall short of needs.
b. High priority be assigned to medical, nutritional, educational, and family services.
c. the Rabbinical Council of America be prepared to assign its most competent personnel to participate in such dialogues with other people of goodwill of all faiths, in order to define these priorities and to work for the implementation of programs consistent with them.