Thursday, August 24, 2023

Doctors - obligation to use

 Igros Moshe (Yoreh Deah 4:8): Since the Torah has permitted a person to be cured by a doctor and according to the Rambam(Hilchos De’os 4:23) and the majority of Rishonim (Tur and Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 336) it is a Torah obligation - it is absolutely certain that a person must go to an expert doctor even if the doctor is a heretic. This obligation exists even if the doctor is a non-Jew who worships idols because there is no concern today that they might intentional kill (Yoreh Deah 155). One should not be bothered by the issue of how G d sends his cures through heretics. The existence of medicine means that we are commanded not to rely on miracles as long as it is possible to be cured with drugs which were created by G d to cure the sick. The doctor knows about the sickness and he knows which drugs cure the best. However since it is possible for a doctor to err on occasion - it is necessary to pray to G d that the doctor not err and succeed in treating him. Furthermore we find in the gemora that our Sages went to non-Jewish doctors and heretics - in circumstances where there was no concern that the doctor would try to kill them (Avoda Zara 28a). However if the doctor is a missionary, it is prohibited to utilize him even if there is no other doctor. In reality the overwhelming majority of doctors - whether non Jews or sinful Jews - do their work and don’t get involved in missionary activity. Thus one need not be concerned with this unless it is known that the doctor is in fact a missionary. (See Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:57 concerning psychologists and psychiatrists who are heretics that it is prohibited to utilize them).

1 comment :

  1. Where is the teshuva on psychology? Do you have a post on it?


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