Last week's journal issue stated that for complex end-of-life issues, patients and families must gather the relevant information from their doctor and then seek in-depth guidance from an expert Rabbi who has experience in the field. Can you give some examples?


Certainly! The following are seven common examples of end-of-life issues that require in-depth consultation and guidance from a Rabbi who is an expert in the field. In the next journal issue we will provide an additional number of examples.

  • Weighing up whether or not it may be appropriate to transition a particular patient into hospice care. The fundamental issue is that (unlike in "regular" medical care,) hospice care does NOT focus on "healing" a patient, but is instead limited to providing comfort and relief from pain.
  • Determining whether or not a patient who is in hospice care or is on a ventilator may (and in what manner) discontinue receiving blood tests and/or medications for their symptoms. 
  • Whenever the doctor is recommending for a particular patient to: A) initiate the use of a life support machine, or B) abandon the use of a life support machine. 
  • If a particular patient is unable to eat, is there an obligation to place a feeding tube?
  • The appropriate use and perspective on pain medication for an end-of-life patient, in consideration of the fact that in many cases, either too much OR too little pain relief can potentially be a factor in hastening an end-of-life patient's demise. 
  • Determining at what point the individual patient may reach the halachic status of "Goses" (actively dying), which is in an issue that is further complicated by the presence of modern medical technology. Much guidance is also needed for the issue of how a patient's "Goses" status impacts the appropriate level of medical and personal care.
  • Any circumstances that relate to the termination of a pregnancy and the loss of a fetus.
For over two decades, CMC has been counseling patients and family members throughout the Chicago area concerning end-of-life issues such as those mentioned above. CMC connects patients and families with local Rabbonim who are expert in the end-of-life field, so that they may be reassured of having authoritative halachic answers that are tailored to their specific individual circumstances.

To request CMC guidance and/or support regarding an end-of-life issue or for any patient and/or family member struggling with illness, please call CMC or click this link to visit CMC's website.
Donate here to help us continue serving the community.
See what's happening on our social sites:
Like us on Facebook

Like us on Facebook
Rabbi Aron Wolf
Chicago Mitzvah Campaign
2939 W Touhy Ave
Chicago, IL 60645
1-866-MY RABBI (1-866-697-2224)