You Are Here: Home » Responsa Resource » Medical Law and Ethics (Page 5)

Swapping Shifts in Hospital on Shabbos

Question: שלום It has become commonplace for observant frum doctors in חוץ לארץ to swap their shabbos shifts with non- jewish colleagues in order to avoid חילול שבת. It is (in my experience) virtually impossible to do this on a regular basis particularly on Friday afternoons of winter months when shabbos begins early in the afternoon. שאלה: if one works in a hospital where there are possibly a number of jew ...

Read more

Living Will Advance Directive

Question: לכבוד הרבנים הנכבדים, I was recently asked by an elderly Jewish ( non observant) lady to help her with a living will advance directive which would outline her wishes regarding extent of treatments being provided for her during an acute illness. The will would contain statements outlining possible end of life scenarios for which patient would tick the box which states 'I do not want to be kept aliv ...

Read more

Dental Work on One’s Parents

Question: Is a female dental-hygienist allowed to perform dental work or a cleanup on her parents, or does this involve the prohibition of inflicting a wound upon a parent?   Answer: We must differentiate between a treatment which will cause bleeding and one that will not necessarily cause bleeding, such as an external cleaning to remove plaque. There is room to be lenient regarding treatment that will ...

Read more

In Vitro Fertilization

Question: It is possible for Jewish couple, with problems to have children, to try In Vitro Fertilization and if so, what should be the Lady's Mikvah schedule . Thank you in advance for your response. Answer: When necessary, IVF is a permissible and even encouraged method to attempt to overcome infertility, in order to perform the great mitzvah of P’ru U’rvu, bringing children into this world. For many reas ...

Read more

Deactivating a ICD Implant

Question: I would like to ask about deactivating an ICD implant for a dying patient. The ICD implant ensures the regular function of the heart by administering electric shocks that can be very painful for the patient. Some terminally ill patients (of their families) – who are generally dying of illnesses unrelated to the heart condition – request that the implant be turned off in order to spare the patients ...

Read more

Shaving Before an Operation

Question: I am a skin doctor, and sometimes, before performing a procedure for removing various moles from the facial (beard) area I have to shave the hair of the beard around the mole. Doctors usually use a blade for this purpose (a scalpel). Is this permitted? In a similar vein, somebody once entered the operating chamber for a skin grafting procedure, in which skin would be taken from the area just behin ...

Read more

Stitching a wound on Shabbat

Question: I am a surgeon and live in a religious neighborhood. On Shabbat there are commonly children who suffer from lacerations that require stitching. In place of traveling to the hospital and being stuck there for the duration of Shabbat, they come to me and I stitch them up. Is this permissible or are they required to travel to the hospital and have a non jew do the stitching? Answer: It is permissible ...

Read more
Scroll to top