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December 12, 1986 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

44
4-far,

Israeli Court
Rules On Issue
Of Life's End

p

finishing
touches.

Have your

blood pressure
checked.

Jerusalem (JTA) — The
Supreme Court ruled last
week that medical standards
alone determine the precise
time of death, which is the
time when the brain ceases to
function. Sources at the Chief
Rabbinical Council said the
ruling did not conflict with
halacha, at least not in the
specific case to which it was
applied.
The ruling was on the ap-
peal of a man convicted of
murdering his wife by setting
her afire and pushing her
from an upper floor of a
building. The woman was
rushed to a hospital where
doctors determined that her
brain' was not functioning
though other organs were.
She was kept alive for several
days by artificial means but
died when the mechanisms
were removed.
Hr husband argued that
death was caused by detach-
ing medical equipment, not
by the fall. But the high court
rejected his appeal on
grounds that the woman was
brain dead upon arrival at the
hospital.
Although the Rabbinical
Council agreed in this case
that death was determined in
accordance with halachic
principles, the ruling could
raise problems in h future
with the religious establish-
ment. The rabbinate has
strongly opposed heart and
other organ transplants on
grounds that a donor could
not be declared dead as long
as the heart continued to
beat. Doctors point out that
hearts can be kept beating by
artificial means long after
brain death.

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1 •

\- The `Golem'
In Israel

Haifa, Israel — it was in
the 17th Century that the
first Jewish robot was
created. The fertile mind of
"The Maharal Rabbi" gave
the world the story of the
Golem of Prague, whose task
was to lessen that gentle-
man's burden of daily chores.
Israel's robot population is
expected to grow to several
hundred this year and an
Israeli-produced industrial
robot is already at work in
the defense industries. Kib-
butzim have taken an inter-
est in robots, viewing
mechanization as a solution
to the ideological discomfi-
ture of hiring outside labor.
Several have already ordered
industrial robots from Japan.
Prof. Yoram Koren, head of
the Technion Robotics Center
is developing a robot to aid
bedridden patients. The bed-
side robot will perform many
varied tasks, thereby reliev-
ing the human nurse of some
of the burden.



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41

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