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Laws Pertaining to a Doctor on Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Laws Pertaining to a Doctor 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)


What are some laws pertaining to a doctor on Shabbat?


A doctor may answer the phone on Shabbat even if he is unsure if the person calling is in immediate danger. [1] Even though a doctor may drive to where he is needed to treat a person who is in life-threatening danger, he may not drive back home after he has completed the treatment. Instead, he may be driven home by a non-Jew. In such a case, being driven home by a non-Jew is permitted even if the doctor had to travel outside of the techum Shabbat. [2] A doctor who must work in a hospital on Shabbat may treat non-Jewish patients even if doing so involves violating Shabbat. If possible, a doctor should try to avoid having to work in a non-Jewish hospital on Shabbat. A doctor who must work in a hospital on Shabbat on a regular basis should consult with a rabbinical halachic authority for guidelines on how to act when working on Shabbat. [3]

Similarly, a doctor or midwife may take payment for services performed on Shabbat. [4]

Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of Shabbat" vol. 2, p. 293-294


[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, pp. 249 and 283.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, pp. 253-255. See also Igrot Moshe, O.C. 4:80 and in Tzitz Eliezer 21:59 and 22:95; Shevet HaLevi 6:26.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, pp. 317-318. See also Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 28:54 and Tzitz Eliezer 8:15:6.

[4]. Mishnah Berurah 306:24; Be’er Moshe 5:102; Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 13, 28:4; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 250; ibid. vol. 6, p. 8; ibid., Avelut, vol. 1, p. 51.

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