If someone needs a heart transplantation, we first need to take off his old heart. At this very moment, the person is halakhically dead since he/she has no heart. A heart transplantation is therefore a kind of resurrection.

What is therefore the halakhic basis to allow the doctors to resurrect the person by heart transplantation?

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    The halachic concern is not resurrection, but murder (since as you say, in that time that the patient has no heart, he is like dead), but most poskim think that since one does this in order to lengthen the patient's life, it is not considered murder. More about this here. – Cauthon Feb 8 '16 at 10:57
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    Why would there be any Halakhic problem with resurrecting someone? – Salmononius2 Feb 8 '16 at 12:36
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    Note that ressurection can be considered to be allowed as we see by Elisha and the son of the SHunamese woman. Even though it was a miracle, he did use (apparently) natural means to restart his heart. – sabbahillel Feb 8 '16 at 15:43
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    @sabba natural? The rishonim who were of the opinion no miracle occurred was because the kid wasnt really dead, but had just fainted. The rishonim who argued and said it was sacrilegious to say no miracle occurred said a real miracle of resurrection occurred. No one has ever said a non miraculous resurrection occurred, AFAIK at least. – user6591 Feb 8 '16 at 17:30
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    @far22 "Why not?" Because there is no listed prohibition anywhere on doing so. – Double AA Feb 8 '16 at 18:42

Because there's no prohibition on resurrection. Source: Sh'miras Shabas K'hilchasah 32:20 ("מחללין את השבת כדי להפעיל אמצעי החייאה").

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there are two views on whether a person is dead according to the Torah. One of them is they die when the heart "stops working" and one of them is when the "brain stops working". The issue isn't in resurrecting the patient but in harvesting the heart from someone else. How one defines "dead" is important in terms of using someone else's organs, provided that person would be able to have an organ taken from him or her according to the Torah if they are dead.

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  • I would think the main issue is removing the not yet broken heart from the recipient before placing in the donated heart. Is that murder? – Double AA Feb 9 '16 at 3:58
  • Not likely BC it would be part if healing them which would save their life. This is even less likely so if you are taking the position of dead being in the brain – Dude Feb 14 '16 at 1:54

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