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Breaking Shabbat For Someone Who Might Not Live

The Daily Halacha Moment - Saving Someone Who Might Not Live on Shabbat


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one desecrate Shabbat to try to save someone even if he might not live?


Answer:

One is obligated to desecrate Shabbat even if one cannot prevent the person from dying, but he can keep him alive for a few more minutes. [1]


Similarly, one may desecrate Shabbat to attempt to save someone even though the

chances of the person actually surviving are not very likely.[2] Similarly, one may perform a treatment that involves Shabbat desecration on a terminally ill person even though one is unsure if the treatment will work. [3]


Furthermore, One may desecrate Shabbat to attempt to save a person who is unconscious and appears to have already died since even a person who appears to be dead can be revived with proper medical assistance. As long as there stands even a slight chance to revive the person, one may desecrate Shabbat to attempt to save him. [4]


Adapted From R'Yonatan Nacson's "Laws Of Shabbat"


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 329:4; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 295; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 142; Levyat Chen, siman 94.

[2]. Birkei Yosef 329:4; Chayim Sha’al 1:67; Yabia Omer, vol. 1, Y.D. 10:1; Chazon Ovadia,

Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 256; Tzitz Eliezer 8:15:3; Shevet HaLevi 6:179; ibid. 8:86

[3]. Yabia Omer, vol. 8, O.C. 37:15.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 295; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 151. See also Nishmat Avraham, vol. 4, 330:4.


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