This past Sunday YU’s newly formed Medical Ethics Society’s held its first annual conference, this one being titled, “Organ Donation: A Matter of Life and Death – A Conference on Organ Donation in Jewish Law.” In general when YU puts on one of these events, the result is positive and this was no exception. The organizers did a fantastic job of setting up the program and managing the flow of the conference, as well as adapting to unforseen scheduling conflicts. The speaker list was very impressive, including a nice range of speakers and topics, but more importantly, everyone spoke surprisingly well. Despite the complexities and nuances of the halakhic and medical issues involved, all speakers were clear, lucid, and articulate making these complicated topics accessibly to a lay audience. I found this to be especially notable in the Roshei Yeshiva R. Willig, R. Schachter, and R. Tendler who were all very well focused on their presentations. The end result was a highly poignant, informative and occasionally entertaining. I was told that there is a plan to have something published for the event, and perhaps the audio of the presentations will find their way on line. Until then, here’s my recap and analysis of the conference including the classic R. Schachter/R. Tendler showdown on the controversial topic of Brain Death.
UPDATE You may also want to check out CuriousJew’s transcription.