Rav Shlomo Amar
Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel
English: [1 minutes 58 seconds]
TRANSCRIPTION OF VIDEO
Rav Shlomo Amar:
At the moment that the brain dies, decays, no blood profusion, it doesn’t matter if the head is decapitated, or the flesh is broken, or if the [head] exists (is not decapitated), he is dead. It could be from disease, or from a trauma. God forbid, a hit to the head can also cause brain death and when the brain is completely dead – and today we can verify this – we know it’s not working, and if nothing is working, this is not life, this is not called on the verge of death, this is called death. Therefore the fact that the heart is pumping through the help of a ventilator doesn’t make any difference.
In my humble opinion, when the brain is dead, totally, including the brain-stem and there is irreversible cessation of respiration, this is not called about to die, it’s death. That the body is functioning with the help of a machine it’s like fluttering. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t show [human] life.
I have written this opinion of Rav Ovadiah Yosef only concerning disconnecting [the ventilator]. Regarding organ donation, [the permissibility] depends on a case by case basis. In order so there isn’t… sometimes there is eagerness… also here it was established… we required for Rabbis to be on the committees, torah scholars, that are experts in the area.
All of this has been clarified, agreed to and arranged, and there is no need for concern.