Rabbi Professor Moshe Tendler

The Right To Try: Halacha and the Use of Experimental Drugs

I. The Right to Try
USA FDA permission to treat critically ill patients with drugs being evaluated by the FDA but not yet approved. These drugs may prove to be harmful, shortening the life of the patient in violation of the Halacha. Quality of life is a significant factor in the decision to prolong the life of a critically ill patient. Five cases recorded in the Talmud will be analyzed to define “quality of life”.

II. Vaping (& cigarettes)
Evaluation of the claim that e-cigarettes are “safe” and prevents our youth from addiction to smoking tobacco. Based on scientific literature (past June 2109):
(1) vaping causes a nicotine addiction in all cases and a nicotine addiction damages one’s health,
(2) e-cigarette users, after one year, are twice as likely to smoke regular combustion cigarettes
(3) Medical breakthrough: Nov. 8, 2019 – cause of fatal lung disease among vapers was identified as the oily vitamin E in the vaping mix.