This book will help readers make better, more informed choices as they or their loved ones face: the onset of a terminal illness or an incurable, chronic, debilitating condition; a lengthy period of debility and frailty, with ever greater and more demeaning physical or mental weakness and dependency; or a hopeless medical condition marking the final agony of a fatal illness. The author wants readers to face the process of dying and death in the twenty-first century informed by the Jewish tradition. To help them make sound end-of-life choices and deal with their angst and ambivalence, the book presents a wide spectrum of viewpoints from the various strands of contemporary Judaism- traditional (Orthodox) and more liberal (Conservative and Reform).
Lewis D. Solomon is the author of The Jewish Book of Living and Dying, (Jason Aronson, 1999) and Jewish Spirituality: Revitalizing Judaism for the Twenty-First Century, (Jason Aronson, 2000). He completed Rabbinical Studies at the New Seminary, S'micha in 1996. He is Theodore Rinehart Professor of Business Law, the George Washington University Law School.
Chapter 1 Acknowledgments Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Looking to Jewish Law and Beyond in Matters of Life-and-Death Chapter 4 Why Me? Why Now? Why This? Looking at Suffering from the Perspective of the Jewish Tradition Chapter 5 Our Immortal Soul and the Ebbing of Consciousness: The Quest to Define Death Chapter 6 The Jewish Tradition and Pulling the Plug: Withholding or Withdrawing Medical Treatment and the Use of Pain Medication Chapter 7 Facing a Life Threatening or a Chronic Illness: The Jewish Tradition and End of Life Decisions Chapter 8 Ten Suggestions for Patients Facing a Terminal Illness or a Chronic, Debilitating Condition Chapter 9 Questions for Patients Facing a Terminal Illness or a Chronic, Debilitating Condition Chapter 10 A Loved One's Perspective on a Patient's Plight Chapter 11 Planning Ahead: Advance Care Directives and Organ Donations Chapter 12 Conclusion: Our Search for a "Good Death" Chapter 13 Selected Bibliography Chapter 14 Index