This is not meant to be offensive but a serious question. Not to generalize, but in my experience, why do Jewish families agree to all and any extreme measures to preserve life even in the face of obvious suffering of the patient. A coworker told me it's because they don't believe in heaven and earth is all there is, but I did research and that's incorrect. I just want to know because I've never had a devout Jewish patient who was made a DNR.
Okay guys now blast me for being ignorant....'Go
Sep 10, '11
by Kooky Korky
Jewish people vary from being atheist to Orthodox and several stations in between.
I don't know why your experience has been what is has, but I think you are wise to be curious and want to learn. You might want to talk with various rabbis for their knowledge. Just find local Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Progressive, Messianic (Jews for Jesus, for example), Hasidic and any other categories of Jews and ask for an appointment with the rabbis of these groups.
Perhaps they will be a little wary at first, but I think most will be delighted to explain, inform, and dialogue with you. Some might invite you to services or congregational activities so you can meet more Jewish people and get wider views.
Bless you for being interested in learning all that you can. I'm not sure that you can necessarily say that end of life decisions are determined by religion. Maybe there are other factors at work - relationships, guilt, fear of being widowed or orphaned, etc.
BTW, I know Jews who are Buddhist, atheist, Orthodox, Conservative, Hasidic, and Reform. Some definitely do not believe in an afterlife or even in God. Others observe Kashruth (keeping Kosher) and many other laws and rituals and they do believe in Heaven and Hell and in being inscribed in the Book of Life or not on Rosh ha Shana and Yom Kippur, which are coming up very soon.
Last edit by Kooky Korky on Sep 10, '11