Thursday, September 13, 2018

Psak Halacha Regarding attempts to pass “Death with Dignity” legislation:

The chiyuv (Torah injunction) of “Lo sa'amod al dam re’echa”, obligates everyone to do what he or she can, to help prevent assisted suicide and/or euthanasia.
Allowing the legalization of “assisted suicide”, even if this particular law in practice would only result in assisting a suicide and not euthanasia, is to allow shefichas-domim (bloodshed). Furthermore even rendering such actions not being subject to prosecution, is allowing shefichas-domim (bloodshed), al achas kama vekama (how much more so), in cases of assisted suicide leading to euthanasia.
Voting on the basis of this issue. This obligation would include:
1) Thus, when voting for any public official, this issue must be considered as top priority, certainly overriding financial considerations, government programs, etc. By voting for people who support these laws, we become accountable for their actions. This ruling would still apply even if these laws were to be passed, we would still be forbidden to vote for legislators who voted for these laws. This is the most important way to fulfill our obligation.
2) Urging one’s legislators to vote against these bills, if and when they arise[1] and to urge the governor to veto such bill, were it to pass the legislature.
3) Helping in efforts to repeal such laws, in areas[2] where such legislation was already passed.
Even a few votes can make a major difference, both by legislators and the public—sometimes the vote of a single legislator can decide the fate of these laws—as is evidenced by the recent vote in the New Jersey State Assembly (in November 2014), where an assisted suicide bill was passed by just one vote. We have seen in several recent races in Jewish neighborhoods, that even a handful of votes can make the difference in the outcome of the election[3]. Furthermore, some legislators keep track of the calls that are made to their offices on particular controversial issues, and vote according to their results.
May the Creator of all life grace us with the merit to save innocent lives, fulfilling our role as an or legoyim (light unto the nations). In that merit, may we help usher in the Final Redemption by Moshiach Tzidkeinu.
Rabbonim are listed alphabetically.
Mordechai Chaim Auerbach
Zalman Leib Hollander
Dovid Ribiat
Khal Nachlas Moshe, Spring Valley, NY
mechaber "The 39 Melochos"
Eliyahu Ben-Haim
Shmuel Kamenetsky
Yosef Yitzchok Rosenfeld
RIETS/Kehillah Yotzei Mashad
Talmudical Academy of Philadelphia
Monsey Dometz
Haim Benoliel
Yosef Meir Kantor
Chaim Schabes
Bnai Yosef/Mikdash Melech
Cong. Agudath Israel of Monsey
Knesses Yisroel
Gad Bouskila
Elya Nota Katz
Dovid Schustal
Netivot Israel
Stamford Yeshiva
Bais Medrash Govoha, Lakewood
Yitzchok M. Braun
Eliezer Langer
Yaakov Shulman
Shaaray Zion
Cong. Israel, Poughkeepsie, NY
Talmud Torah of Flatbush
Shlomo Breslauer
Yeshaye Gedalye Kaufman
Moshe Silberberg
Bais Tefiloh
Hisachdus Moetz, Kruleh Dometz
Shuvu/mechaber “Zichron Tzvi Meir”
Eliyahu Brog
Amram Klein
Moshe Soloveitchik
Bais Yisroel
Simcha Bunim Cohen
Shloime Ben Zion Kokis
Yitzchok Sorotzkin
Khal Ateres Yeshaya
Zichron Mordechai
Mesivta of Lakewood
Yitzchok Cohen
Grainom Lazewnik
Tzvi Steinberg
Yeshiva University RIETS
Khal Adar Gbir
Kahal Zera Avraham, Denver
Moshe Donnebaum
Philip Lefkowitz
Shlomo Stern
Hechel Hatorah/Adas Yisroel/Melbourne
Jackson, NJ; mult. congregations in US, UK & Canada
Debreciner Rov
Menachem Fisher
Moshe Tuvia Lieff
Elazar Mayer Teitz
Vien Monsey
Agudath Israel Bais Binyomin
Chief Rabbi of Elizabeth, NJ
Noson Yermia Goldstein
Shmuel Miller
Elya Ber Wachtfogel
mechaber of “Migdalos Noson”
Yeshiva Bais Yisroel
Yeshiva of South Fallsburg
Avrohom Gordimer
Avrohom Yaakov Nelkenbaum
Boruch Hersh Waldman
Coalition for Jewish Values
Mirrer Yeshiva
Siach Yitzchok, Suffern
Shmuel Gorelick
Yechiel Perr
Moshe Weissman
Mesivta Ohel Torah
Yeshiva of Far Rockaway
Ohel Moshe
Moshe Green
Steven Pruzansky
Benjamin Yudin
Yeshivah D'Monsey
Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck
Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, NJ
Yisroel Dovid Harfenes
Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff
Yeruchum Zeilberger
Yisroel Vehazmanim
YU Gruss Kollel
Stamford Yeshiva
Boruch Hirschfeld
Avrohom Reich
Gavriel Zinner
Ahavas Yisroel, Cleveland
Hatzolas Yisroel
Nitei Gavriel
Institutions are listed for identification purposes only.
[1] as is currently in New Jersey [2] such as Washington state and Oregon
[3] most noticeably (demonstrated) in the Senate election between David Storobin and Lew Fidler, where Storobin won by less than 20 votes.
Sponsored by Jews for Torah Values


  1. It seems they are missing the point - this is not a desirable situation for anyone, it is not like choosing between a shabbes elevator and a not so shabbes elevator.

    In any case, the ones who have reached such a point and have terrible diseases are under onness - they cannot really live by themselves. they in fact cannot live , and cannot be cured. Rav Yehuda Gershuni ztl, who was one of Rav Kook's talmidim, ruled that a soldier can end his life if he fears torture and capture by the enemy. That is precisely what Shaul hamelech did. I hope this is never a practical problem for anyone and that it remains theoretical only.

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  4. Nice - perhaps the rabbis at Ponovezh should read this, to remind themselves that they should not assist or glorify suicide by shooting.

  5. Nope, more true sarcasm.
    Those who were maspid the suicide gun guy, gave him death with dignity.

  6. Wow a real posek!
    normal procedure followed

  7. Either this or that
    If even a small txaar is permitted, then death with dignity for those poor folk with torturous disease is even more justified. Don't bifurcate, saying one law for us, and another for them.


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