Audio Roundup 2020:10

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by Joel Rich

Beautiful thought for lonely people of faith everywhere:
Here is what his wife, Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein, said after his passing:

I tend to think that he played sports as a young man not only because he enjoyed the physical exertion of basketball and what he called “the moral value” of teamwork, but also because the game allowed him to be part of a team. It gave him an opportunity to belong, to fit in, at least on the basketball court.

NYT Ethicist – What would halacha be?

Q.I have been struck by a fatal disease, inherited from my father. I have children, who know they have a 50-50 chance of inheriting the disease from me.
I have several siblings. One has children of her own. She has so far refused to be tested on the off chance that she, too, has the gene. This means that her children don’t know anything about the cause of my disease. There are interventions that could protect any future grandchildren, but her children don’t know they are in danger of passing the disease along.
I have been tempted to tell my sister’s children myself, but I know this would result in a major breach in our relationship (a real loss to me). What is my ethical responsibility here? Name Withheld
A. ……………………….The trouble isn’t that your sister refuses to be tested. That’s her choice. …….The trouble is that she wants to prevent her children from knowing what she already knows. By keeping them in the dark, she’s robbing them of the ability to make their own choices. And here’s a critical point. Even if they declined to be tested themselves, simply knowing that they’re at risk would enable them to protect any children they might have in the future, through “nondisclosure testing.” Clinics can conduct pre¬implantation embryo screening without sharing the results with the at-risk parent…….. Preserving your own uncertainty is defensible; putting others in jeopardy is not….As painful as a breach in your relationship with your sister would be, it’s clear that your sister’s misguided plan is itself weighing heavily on you. Urge her to level with her children about the facts. (She could implore them not to tell her if they are tested and get a positive result.) Were she still to refuse, tell them yourself.

Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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