Revach L'Neshama http://revach.net/ RSS feed for - Section: HALACHA Category:HEALTH Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 http://revach.net/img/small_header.jpg http://revach.net/ info@revach.net Sat, 16 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800 240 Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Rav Elyashiv ybcl"c - Must A Women Subject Herself To A Caesarean Delivery? http://revach.net/article.php?id=4965 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4965

If a woman cannot give birth naturally and her delivery will require Caesarean section, can she refuse her husband's request to have children?

The Nishmas Avrohom (OC 330:2) brings from Rav Elyashiv shlit"a that the Meshech Chochma (Noach 9:7) says that a woman, although patur from the Mitzva of having children (as only a man is chayav), nevertheless is obligated to her husband to bear him children. This is despite that there is inherent danger in childbirth. Therefore says Rav Elyashiv the extra measure of danger inherent in a c-section will not exempt her from her obligation to her husband.

However, says the Nishmas Avrohom, Rav Shlomo Zalman argued and held that the only obligation a woman has to her husband is for a natural childbirth. This was understood when she agreed to get married. However a c-section was not part of the agreement and she may therefore refuse to have one.

He goes as far as saying that even if right before childbirth the doctors says that it may be dangerous for the child to be born naturally and a c-section would prove to be a much safer alternative to delivering a healthy child, she may still refuse on the grounds that she is afraid to undergo the operation, even at the expense of the child.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha. We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Mon, 07 Feb 2011 03:00:00 -0800
Nishmas Avrohom - Sonogram To Determine Gender Of A Fetus http://revach.net/article.php?id=4737 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4737
The Nishmas Avrohom (2:189:3) says that while it is customary to take an ultrasound of the womb during pregnancy to check some vital information, one must be aware that certain findings like potential Down's Syndrome may cause the doctor to ask for further testing.  In most of these cases the doctor's will recommend an abortion whereas halacha does not permit it.

What about a sonogram for the purpose of determining the gender of the child?  The Medrash (Toldos 65:12) lists seven things that are hidden from human knowledge.  One of these things is the gender of a child.  The Yifei Toar says that the reason for this is that the parents should not be disappointed during the pregnancy if they find out that the gender is not what they had hoped for.  If it is what they hoped, then the excitement and anticipation will be over and it will not carry the woman's spirits during the difficult labor process.

On the other hand the gemara in Pesachim (54b) also lists seven things that are hidden but the gender of a child is not on the gemara's list.  The Nishmas Avrohom says he asked his Rebbi HaRav Yehoshua Noivert (Shmiras Shabbos KiHilchoso) who said it is not worthwhile for a woman to take an ultrasound for this purpose.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Wed, 25 Aug 2010 03:00:00 -0700
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & ybc"l Rav Elyashiv - Paying For Treatment When The Doctors Have Given Up http://revach.net/article.php?id=4546 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4546 The Nishmas Avrohom writes (2:155:12) that he asked Rav Noivert about a case where the Doctors have totally given up on a cancer patient and the patient wants to travel to a place to receive very expensive alternative treatment that is not recognized at all by the medical world and has no proof that it works.  The question was if one may persuade the patient not to go, even if the patient is paying for it himself.  The second question is, is there an obligation for others to finance this if the patient doesn't have the means to pay for it himself?

Rav Noivert answered that no one should try to talk the patient out of it, even if the doctors feel that the treatment is totally useless.  However on the other hand said Rav Noivert, there is no obligation for anyone to pay for it.  Furthermore he writes that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach held that if you give a private donation you may not deduct it from Maaser money, and the Gabbai Tzedaka may not give money from public funds.

He brings that he heard from Rav Elyashiv that if the psychological lift the patient will get from this false ray of hope will give him the strength to live a bit longer, then you must help him financially even from Maaser money.  If this will not help him live longer then there is no obligation.  Similarly, Rav Shlomo Zalman holds that although this is not tzedaka, it is still Chesed and a small amount may be given from Maaser money.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Tue, 04 May 2010 03:00:00 -0700
Rav Moshe Shternbuch: Conflicting Doctor Opinions Regarding Surgery http://revach.net/article.php?id=4515 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4515 When it comes to a medical decision, if one doctor says to do something while another says not to, the Shulchan Aruch (OC 328:10) paskens that we listen to the opinion that says to do something.  However says Rav Moshe Shternbuch (1:865), when it comes to a risky surgery the halacha is the opposite.  The reason is that surgery itself imposes danger, so in this case when it is one expert doctor's opinion against another doctor, halacha dictates that "Shev V'Al Taaseh Adif", better to do nothing than to do something that may cause harm.

Rav Shternbuch says that even if the doctor who recommends the operation be performed is a bigger doctor than the one opposed to it, still one individual can make a mistake and we do not rely on his opinion over his colleague's when it comes to a risky surgery.  What can be done is to consult with a third expert doctor, and if he says the surgery should be done then you listen to him, even over the fears and warnings of the other doctor.

An expert doctor as dictated by halacha, says Rav Shternbuch, is not quantified by degrees.  A degree simply signifies that he has been successfully in certain medical practices.  An expert or Mumcheh, says Rav Shternbuch, is a doctor who has a track record of successfully curing many patients of this particular ailment.  Also he must have integrity and be willing to ask a colleague when he doesn't know something.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Tue, 20 Apr 2010 03:00:00 -0700
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: Medical Intervention Is Patient's Decision Alone & Not Their Children's http://revach.net/article.php?id=4436 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4436 Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shulchan Shlomo 1:75) holds that consent is needed from a patient for a medical procedure, even if the procedure is needed to save the patients life.  No family member can approve without asking the Choleh.

If however the Choleh cannot communicate their thoughts, in cases where the patient is unconscious or cannot speak, then a family member is trusted to tell us what the Choleh would have wanted to do, but only if this is a life threatening decision.  If the condition is not life threatening, then no one can speak on behalf of the Choleh, even if the Choleh cannot communicate.

It should be noted that Rav Shlomo Zalman held that even in life threatening cases, the Choleh can refuse to undergo procedures, such as amputation, that would leave him in pain or disgrace.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Thu, 04 Mar 2010 03:00:00 -0800
Tzitz Eliezer & Rav Elyashiv - Tumtum Today, Is It A Man Or Woman? http://revach.net/article.php?id=4296 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4296 The Rambam writes that a Tumtum is a person whose organ is covered and there is no sign whether the person has a male organ or is a female.  As long as it remains this way the person is a Safek.  If the layer of skin covering is removed then we follow whatever is revealed and the person gets a status of definite male or definite female.

Is a Tumtum obligated to undergo a procedure to determine its gender and receive a Bris Mila if it is found to be a male?  The Nishmas Adam brings that Rebbi Akiva Eiger (YD 262) says no.  Rav Itzele Blazer in Pri Yitzchok agrees and says the reason is that it is not obligated to place itself in a Sakana to find out.

What about doing an ultrasound on the tumtum, would that obligate him to act in accordance with the findings?  Rav Elyashiv paskens according to the Nishmas Adam that either an ultrasound our any other test that does not involve any danger is a valid determinant of the gender and if it was found to be a male, he would be obligated in all the mitzvos like a Zachar Vaddai.

What about a DNA test, would finding male or female genes determine the tumtum's halachic status.  The Nishmas Adam brings from the Tzitz Eliezer (11:78), that a DNA test would not prove anything.  The gender is determined based on the exterior makeup of the male and female anatomy, and not by testing the genes.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Wed, 13 Jan 2010 03:00:00 -0800
Rav Moshe Shternbuch - Anonymous Bone Marrow Donation http://revach.net/article.php?id=4279 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4279 Some received a letter from a hospital (ed. note: apparently in Israel) that his bone marrow was needed to save a dying patient with whom he was a rare match.  However the hospital refused to disclose who the patient was and no details were revealed.  He asked Rav Moshe Shternbuch (5:387) if he was obligated to undergo the transplant procedure under these circumstances considering the donation may be to a person who he is not obligated to save his life.

Rav Shternbuch said that halachicly there is no obligation to believe the hospital.  In the case of Pikuach Nefesh the poskim require that the halachos only apply if the case is clear.  In this case there is no way to determine if the transplant will help and what the chances of success are.  It is also possible that there are other available donors and they don't necessarily need him.

Moreover Mei'Ikar HaDin a person is not obligated to give a part of himself to save his friend.  For example no one is obligated to donate a kidney to save someone's life even if there is no danger involved.  With regard to bone marrow however it is unclear in the medical world if it is like a kidney transplant or a blood donation which you completely recover from without any change in the body.

Although halachicly there is no obligation, says Rav Shternbuch, if you do the procedure L'Shem Shamayim it is permissible and you have a great mitzva.  Even if it will cause you to miss a few days of Tefila BiTzibbur and even if it will go to children of mixed marriages, still there is a good chance that it will go to a Jew of which many are Tinokos SheNishbi'u, and you have done a great mitzva.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Wed, 06 Jan 2010 03:00:00 -0800
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: When A Patient Would Rather Die http://revach.net/article.php?id=4257 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4257 If a Choleh is told that he needs a limb amputated or else he will die, may he refuse to go through with the amputation?  Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shulchan Shlomo: Erkei Refuah - Operations) was asked this question and although he did not want to pasken he said that it seemed to him that the person is entitled to refuse the amputation.

He says that anytime a person's life can be extended through medical intervention, but it will leave him to suffer for the rest of his life, he may choose to passively forgo the procedure.  He says that in certain circumstances a person is allowed to daven for Hashem to take his life.  There are times according to the Ran in Nedarim (40a) that you may even daven that terminally ill person should die.

Amputating a leg, says Rav Shlomo Zalman can turn a respectable person in a total Nebach from the emotional scars.  Although a person is not the boss over his own life and death nevertheless this case may be different since he is not doing anything actively to end his life and it is Shev V'Al Taaseh.  Again Rav Shlomo Zalman reiterates that he is only speculating and not paskening.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to relay any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Tue, 29 Dec 2009 03:00:00 -0800
Tzitz Eliezer: A Parent's Medical Responsibility For Their Child http://revach.net/article.php?id=4245 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4245 What happens if a child refuses to go to the dentist, can a parent force them?  The Tzitz Eliezer (20:47) says that the obligation on a parent for his child's well being is the same as his obligation to feed him.  We see this from the Chasam Sofer who treats these two aspects of care identically with regard to husband's obligation to his wife. 

Therefore says the Tzitz Eliezer a parent can force his child to go to the dentist until he reaches his 14th year (13 years old) and a girl her 13th.  After that the child can refuse.

However he says, the parent is not quite off the hook once the child refuses.  We see from the gemara in Kedushin that a father must be rebuke his child from age 16 to 24, as these are the years where the child is smart enough to understand and the parent has the most influence.  After that it is too late.  Similarly says the Tzitz Eliezer, the parent must uses all his tools of persuasion to convince the child to do what is right.

Additionally, says the Tzitz Eliezer, you must help him make the right the decision based on the halachos of Hashavas Aveida.  Chazal teach us that just like you are obligated to help you friend recover a lost item, surely you must not sit by idly when his health is at stake.  This chiyuv applies to all people, blood relatives or not, and regardless of age.

Important Note: We bring this Tshuva as a starting point for discussion and not to relay any halacha.  We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Wed, 23 Dec 2009 03:00:00 -0800
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Tzitz Eliezer: Bikur Cholim - Should A Man Visit A Sick Woman? http://revach.net/article.php?id=4031 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4031 The Nishmas Avrohom (YD 335:4:1) brings from the Aruch HaShulchan (YD 335:11) that a man has a mitzva to visit a sick woman as long as he makes sure there is no problem of Yichud.  The Tzitz Eliezer (Ramas Rochel 16) wonders what the Mekor of the Aruch HaShulchan is.  He brings from Shu"T VaYaan Avrohom that there is no obligation or mitzva to visit a woman and one should not go unless it is a relative so close that you are permitted to have yichud.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach held that of course there is a mitzva of Bikur Cholim even in this case, just like there is a mitzva of Nichum Aveilim.  However he says in this case the mitzva requires that you go in order to daven for the sick women and see what she needs and how you can help.  These are essentials of Bikur Cholim.  However the sitting around and shmoozing part should be avoided in this case.
 
Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Tue, 25 Aug 2009 03:00:00 -0700
Rav Moshe Feinstein: On The Dangers Of Becoming A Professional Athlete http://revach.net/article.php?id=3890 http://revach.net/article.php?id=3890 Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe CM 103) was asked if someone may embark on a career as a professional athlete despite the danger involved (this tshuva focused only on the danger and not any other halachic or hashkafa issue). 

Rav Moshe said it was permissible to earn a livelihood that involves danger despite the fact one in a few thousand can be seriously injured or even killed.  This applies to any hazardous profession where the odds are very low, yet still a danger is present.  Moreover says Rav Moshe, it is permissible to do work that may end with you causing the death of another person.

He brings proof from the gemara (Bava Metzia 112) that discusses the wages of an employee, and brings a pasuk that a worker risks his life by climbing high trees to cut the produce.  Rav Moshe's reasons that there is no difference between the issur of killing yourself and killing others.  Either way if the chances are very slim, then to earn a living it is permissible.  If this wouldn't be so, says Rav Moshe, then how was the owner able to employee this daredevil worker?  However, says Rav Moshe, it is only permissible to employ someone for a dangerous task if the person is aware of the dangers involved and consciously accepts the risks.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Mon, 29 Jun 2009 03:00:00 -0700
Nishmas Adam: Can Bais Din Force A Non-Jewish Doctor To Treat A Jew? http://revach.net/article.php?id=3855 http://revach.net/article.php?id=3855

The Nishmas Avrohom writes (CM 427) that seemingly a non-Jew does not have an obligation to save another person.  If so in a case where Bais Din has the authority to force a non-Jewish doctor to treat a Jew to save his life when he refuses to do so, would Bais Din be able to use its power to force him to do so or is there no obligation for Bnei Noach to treat a sick man?

He brings the Shiltei Giborim (Kesubos 24b Rif) who says that if a non-Jewish woman nursed a Jewish child long enough that the child would only take milk from her, if she then refused to nurse the child Bais Din can force her to continue and pay her for her services.

From here, says the Nishmas Adam, it seems that if there is no Jewish doctor who is able to treat the patient, Bais Din can pay the non-Jewish doctor and force him to treat the Jew.  He adds that Rav Yehoshua Noivert agreed with him.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Mon, 15 Jun 2009 03:00:00 -0700
Rambam, Chida, Rav Shlomo Kluger - Treating Illness With Forbidden Segulos http://revach.net/article.php?id=3735 http://revach.net/article.php?id=3735 A common treatment in the times of the mishnayos for someone bitten by a rabid dog was for him to eat from the dog's liver.  Although in cases of Pikuach Nefesh the issur of eating treif does not apply, the Chachamim argue with Rav Masya ben Charash (Yuma 8:6) and say that we do not allow someone to eat it when bitten.

The Rambam says (Peirush HaMishnayos) that we pasken like the Chachomim that he cannot eat it.  The reason he says, is because we cannot be oveir on the torah unless it is a natural cure based on medicinal properties, and not a cure based on Segulos.  The Nishmas Avrohom brings the Chida who says that it seems from the words of the Rambam that even if the Segula is proven to work and there is no doubt about its efficacy, still we cannot violate an issur.

Rav Shlomo Kluger says that the Shulchan Aruch (OC 301:25) that allows a person to go into Reshus HaRabim wearing a Kmei'a (that is proven to work) on Shabbos is not a contradiction to this Rambam.  The reason why that is permitted is because to the person wearing it, whether it truly works or not, it is no worse than a piece of jewelry which is permissible to wear on Shabbos, and not because of refuah.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Sun, 10 May 2009 03:00:00 -0700
Bais Ovi: Stapling A Stomach For Weight Loss http://revach.net/article.php?id=3676 http://revach.net/article.php?id=3676

The Bais Ovi was asked (CM 158), if the Dr. tells a heavy person, whose obesity can cause health issues, that he must have an operation to staple his stomach in order to lose weight, may he do so?  There are a number of issues involved  and he paskens that it is is perfectly mutar.  

There is an issur to inflict in yourself a wound.  However says the Bais Ovi, the root of this issur is Ba'al Tash'chis, and just like Ba'al Tash'chis, if you are destroying something for an ultimately important purpose you may do so.  He even says that you may give one of your limbs to another person in need, as long the operation and donation doesn't place you in a position of Sakana.

He also brings from the Mor U'Ktzia (328) that a person my place in himself in a Safek Sakana, a possible danger, in order to save himself from constant terrible pain he is in, since many times these operations are successful.

With regard to the Doctor's recommendation, it is perfectly permissible to rely on the doctor's judgement.  The Ramban says that you can eat poison (i.e. medicine) based on the doctor's prediction that it will help you.  Although the Avnei Nezer held that operations were inherently dangerous and should be avoided despite the doctor's desire to operate, nevertheless medicine has come a long way and the Sakana is not the same anymore. 

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

This article has not been reviewed by the posek of the AskRevach section, Rav Peretz Moncharsh. Any questions regarding this topic and Halacha L’Maaseh may be asked to him at www.revach.net/ask 

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Sun, 26 Apr 2009 03:00:00 -0700