A syllabus for Jewish medical ethics in the context of general bioethics

Benjamin Gesundheit*, Dorith Shaham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Since the beginning of medical history, ethics has interested medical practitioners. The subject has become particularly important in recent years due to the huge advancements in medicine and medical technology and has elicited much public interest. While international ethical principles and guidelines have been established, classical Jewish tradition has always placed great emphasis on bioethics. Prof. Avraham Steinberg's monumental Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics presents the subject comprehensively and in depth. We propose a bioethics syllabus. to be integrated into the medical curriculum in three stages: i) preclinical - covering basic ethical concepts and principles, relevant history, and ethical codes; ii) clinical - covering bioethical topics relating to the human life cycle; iii) prior to students' final examinations and further specialization - covering bioethical topics relating to their personal interests, Steinberg's Encyclopedia is an ideal basis for the development of a professional course, including Jewish traditional aspects. Such a course would provide future physicians with a varied cultural and intercultural background, help shape their image, and improve the quality of medical care.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)397-400
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Avraham Steinberg
  • Bioethics education in medical schools
  • Jewish medical ethics
  • Medical ethics syllabus


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