During a rabbinical conference held at a Dead Sea hotel MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni delivered a speech in which addressed the bill regarding brain-dead patients on respirators proposed by Otniel Schneller (Kadima), who was in attendance.
Rabbi Gafni objected to the position espoused by Schneller, who claimed that all gedolei Torah support the proposal. Rabbi Gafni said that in fact the opposite is true. Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita issued instructions to oppose the law, saying that according to halochoh as long as the heart continues to beat the patient is considered alive in every respect and it is strictly forbidden to deny medical treatment, and as such UTJ has decided to oppose the bill.
Rabbi Gafni even called on every family who faces such situations, chas vesholom, to demand full treatment for the patient based on legal rights.
Letter from HaRav Eliashiv shlita about Brain Death
I hereby reiterate my opinion, which I put on record on the eighteenth of Menachem Av 5751, that according to our holy Torah, as long as the heart beats, even though the patient has suffered brain death, there is no license whatsoever to remove any organ from his body.
May Hashem yisborach repair our nation’s breaches.
(signed) Yosef Sholom Eliashiv
(Yechiel Sever for Dei’ah veDibur)