U.S. Orthodox rabbis avoid ruling on organ donations from brain dead patients
Rabbinical Council of America reiterates neutrality on whether Jewish law regards death to have occurred when brain function ceases.
Under strong fire, the country’s major Modern Orthodox rabbinic body is seeking to clarify its position on a study by its own authorities that is seen as casting doubt on the permissibility of vital organ donation by Jews who are brain dead, yet upholding the right of Jews to receive such organs.
In a statement released January 6, the Rabbinical Council of America reiterated that it is neutral on the question of whether Jewish law regards death to have occurred when brain function ceases or only when the heart stops.