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Friday, July 18, 2008

Antiwrinkle Science & Religion

Evolence, a new injection to treat wrinkles, is made in Israel using collagen taken from the tendons of pigs. It's now approved for use in the United States. But is it OK for Jews—who aren't allowed to eat any pig products— to use it? In other words, is Evolence kosher?
That question was put to Rabbi Dr. Edward Reichman in yesterday's New York Times. According to Reichman, an associate professor of emergency medicine who teaches Jewish medical ethics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, the shots wouldn't violate Jewish dietary law (in much the same way that tossing around a football, made from pig skin, is allowed).
Muslims, on the other hand, are not allowed to use any pig products unless they're medically necessary, says Abdulaziz Sachedina, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, which means Evolence is off limits. "Anything that is used to enhance your appearance," he tells the newspaper, "does not qualify as a necessity." —Heather Wax