Talk:Medicine on Shabbat

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Is it permitted to join a non-shomer Shabbat residency?

  • Rabbi Raymond Sultan and Dr. Sammy Sultan in RJJ Periodical no. LVIII quote Rav Schachter that held it is forbidden and Rav Tendler quoting Rav Moshe held it was permitted. The dispute is based on the concept that everyone agrees that it is forbidden to put yourself in a situation where you will come to violate Shabbat for a permitted reason of pikuach nefesh (Shulchan Aruch OC 248:4 based on Baal Hameor, Mishna Brurah 248:8). The only leniency is that for a mitzvah it is permitted to put yourself in such a situation. Rabbi Tendler holds the need for having an Orthodox doctor is like a mitzvah and Rav Schachter holds that is an insufficient cause to permit doing so.
  • Dr. Akiva Bergman wrote a nice article on the topic clearly showing the numerous issues with the non-shomer Shabbat residency. 1) One has to opt out of a situation in which one will violating Shabbat for pikuach nefesh including treating non-Jewish patients which is only permitted in self-protection (ayvah). 2) Even planning a trip more than three days before Shabbat is a problem since the residency will certainly involve the violation of Shabbat. 3) Even in terms of protecting a Jew that too doesn't serve as a reason to allow pikuach nefesh ab initio according to the Rama. 4) Furthermore, no resident can be sure that he will certainly have a Jew among his patients. His conclusion is that a non-shomer Shabbat residency is seriously problematic.
  • Tzitz Eliezer 11:39:8 says ideally you should get a goy to drive but if you can't you can drive yourself. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Minchat Shlomo 1:8 argues that it is forbidden. Igrot Moshe 4:80 and 5:23 allows the doctor to drive home if there's no other option such as having a goy drive you home.
    • Yabia Omer OC 3:30:4 quotes the Shibolei Haleket and Ravyah explicitly say that we don't use the concept of hiteru sofam to permit a deoritta. He seems to conclude that we accept their opinion and cite the Shaar Hamelech Yom Tov 3:4 who agrees. He only considers the idea that perhaps we can add more cases. He seems clearly to reject Rav Moshe's opinion that it is permitted for a doctor who was called in to drive home on Shabbat. Yalkut Yosef Shabbat v. 4 p. 298 also implies that he understood from the Yabia Omer above we wouldn’t apply hiteru sofam on derabbanan’s. Yalkut Yosef (Otzar Dinim Lisha p. 462) quotes the machloket Rav Moshe and Rav Shlomo Zalman and doesn't pasken except that for a non-doctor such as a husband coming with his wife giving birth it is certainly forbidden to return home. Yalkut Yosef Choleh Sheyesh Bo Sakana 328:109 quotes Rav Moshe as an opinion but doesn't pasken though he seems like there's what to rely on for an emergency call. But in the fnt. 16 writes that a doctor on rotations may certainly not go home because there is no logic of hiteru sofam in that case.
  • Igrot Moshe OC 1:131 is strict that a doctor has to find a place to stay such as a hotel even if it costs money near the hospital so that he can walk there on Shabbat if he's on call and might be called in. If he can't he should try to stay in the hospital all of Shabbat even if that means that he won't have kiddush or a Shabbat meal. But if the hospital won't let him do that, then he stay home but he can't go in unless they can't do the surgery without him specifically. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Minchat Shlomo 1:7 and Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 40 fnt. 71 held that it is permitted for a doctor to go home on Friday and he doesn't need to stay in the hospital even if he's on call on Shabbat since he's not violating Shabbat when he goes home on Friday afternoon and also it is a mitzvah for him to be home with his family Friday night. However, if this only happened once he should be strict not to leave the hospital and stay for Shabbat. Yalkut Yosef (Otzar Dinim Lisha p. 462) quotes the dispute but doesn’t offer a pesak.