Because the Torah declares the body of a Jew sacred. The body of a Jew is not to be maimed, and it's against the halacha to be menavel hameis. If people want to experiment, it's only a question of spending a little more money. At one time you could import bodies from India at twenty five dollars apiece, now the price maybe went up a little. An Indian body is exactly the same inside as a Jewish body.
You have to know that the idea of autopsies in Eretz Yisroel is a war of ideology. The academic community there wants to wean us from superstitions; that's what they're mostly interested in. They are not interested in bodies, bodies they can get, but they want to train the Jewish people to give up their superstitions.
Superstition means, supersto, in Latin it means something that stands above you. We hold on to these superstitions, because these are high and noble ideas, they stand way above us. And to these superstitions we have to cling with our lifeblood. We're moser nefesh for them. And if we have to fight with the whole academic community in Eretz Yisroel, all the apikorsim, and the government, that's our duty; it's forbidden for a Jew.
If you chas v'shalom have a relative of yours that dies in the hospital, make up your mind beforehand that if the doctor starts urging you to permit an autopsy, you will say a loud and resounding no. Make it up now, because sometimes the doctor was so nice in the last hours of your relative's life, he sidles over to you now and he makes the suggestion, and sometimes a man might be weak.
So tell him, if you're too weak to say no, tell him I must ask my Rabbi. So walk out to the bathroom and come back and say my Rabbi said no.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210