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Applying Jewish Law to Modern Medical Ethics

Applying Jewish Law to Modern Medical Ethics

July 9, 2020

Israel Studies, Culture & Jewish Thought, Medical Research

The Jerusalem Post — Prof. Alan Jotkowitz, M.D., director of the Medical School for International Health (MSIH) and director of the Jakobovits Center for Jewish Medical Ethics in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is that rare man who pursued his passions, stayed true to his dreams and feels gratitude for where he is today, personally and professionally.

Prof. Alan Jotkowitz, M.D.

Prof. Jotkowitz began his professional career at BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Soroka-University Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Division.

“In addition to a standard four-year medical curriculum, MSIH trains doctors to work in global health and cross-cultural medicine,” Prof. Jotkowitz explains. “The students spend three years in Israel, do a fourth-year elective at highly selective medical centers in the U.S. and Canada and then study for two months in places such as India, Peru and countries across Africa.

“We are celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the school and we have over 500 alumni. They are doing incredible and important work and many act as ambassadors for Israel and BGU when they return to their home countries.”

Like universities worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the school to pivot to online learning.

“This has been an extremely challenging time for everyone,” says Prof. Jotkowitz. “But we were able to rapidly integrate remote learning into our program and have become a leader in online medical education.”

Alongside his work at MSIH, Jotkowitz is also a scholar in the field of Jewish medical ethics.

His primary academic research interest is in demonstrating the relevance of traditional Jewish thinking in medical ethics to modern moral dilemmas.

One of the most recent examples of this is the situation in hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“What do the Jewish sources say about who gets priority treatment during this time if there are more people than places and some need to be turned away? Medical personnel the world over are dealing with this dilemma,” he explains.

Prof. Jotkowitz has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in prestigious journals such as The American Journal of Medicine, European Journal of Medicine, Journal of Medical Ethics, The American Journal of Bioethics, Modern Judaism, Tradition and others.

He also served as the associate editor of European Journal of Internal Medicine for many years. With all of these accomplishments, he remains committed to MSIH and BGU.

Read more in The Jerusalem Post>>