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Book and Media Reviews
December 26, 2007

The Sanctity of Human Life

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(24):2914-2920. doi:10.1001/jama.298.24.2914

In The Sanctity of Human Life, David Novak examines both traditional and not-so-traditional Jewish thought on the ethics surrounding human life, from its beginning to its end. Specifically, he uses the examples of stem cell research (the beginning), health insurance reform (the middle), and physician-assisted suicide (the end) to make his points.

In keeping with his role as both a professor of religion and a professor of philosophy, Novak approaches these topics from a variety of perspectives: traditional (ie, rabbinical) Jewish thought and philosophy; liberal Jewish thought and philosophy; ethics; and politics. In taking this approach, he tries to present a balanced view of each issue.

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