med ethics 12-10

Despite the snowy morning on Sunday, December 10th, the AP Biology students attended the Yeshiva University Student Medical Ethics Society Conference, “BREAKING DOWN THE FIREWALL: A Jewish Perspective to Future Technologies in Medicine.” Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, the Dean of the Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), introduced Rabbi Dr. Moshe David Tendler, who was being presented with the honor of having this and future such conferences named in his honor. Rabbi Dr. Tendler spoke about the role that the Yeshiva, and like conferences, play in allowing our students to enter the public sphere of work while maintaining their private sphere of conviction to Torah values and ethics. Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman, chairman of and advisor to the conference, introduced Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo, who spoke about her work at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM), studying human longevity and aging through the analysis of the garbage destruction mechanisms in a cell. Her work focuses on the fact that as we age, we lose the ability to clean out the free radicals and toxins in our cells, which lead to the effects that we call aging. Dr. Ed Burns, Dean of AECOM, introduced the next speaker, Dr. Neville Sanjana from NYU and the NY Genome Center, who spoke about cutting-edge gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR. Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich was asked to then respond to the halakhic views on these topics. The conference ended with a final session with Rabbi Ozer Glickman, a Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS and professor at Cardozo School of Law, who had a “fireside chat” with Dr. Matthew Liao, Director of the Center of Bioethics at NYU. Dr. Liao is a philosopher interested in the interface of neurobiology and Big Data. Senior Eliana Fatir shared “attending the medical ethics conference was an incredible experience. It was a perfect blend of Torah U’Madda, learning the text of the Torah on aging and longevity and also hearing the scientific perspective on these issues.”


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