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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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No one can presume to know where an extra helpful piece of information can come in handy! A doctor just told one relative of mine that his son never had cancer — this AFTER half of the son’s ear was removed. What fool blindly puts his or her faith in a single doctor today? The Internet may not have been essential to responsible patient care in R’ Moshe Feinstein’s time, but then again by that reasoning Hatzolah should be assur on Shabbos since it was not around when the Shulchan Aruch was written.

Let me state that I was doing the best I could in a potentially life-threatening situation with what little information I had at the time, and all of the halachic (or medical) Monday-morning quarterbacking in the world will never shake my belief that Hashem is absolutely proud of me and the nurse for what we did. Shame on that woman (who didn’t let me use her Internet) for failing to do the same.

No Regrets

Dear No Regrets,

No sense in going into detail again about your being mechalel Shabbos. In that vein, I humbly suggest that you consult your Orthodox rabbi (believing that you have one) and hear his knowledgeable take on the matter.

As for your conviction that the Internet is a reliable resource for medical evaluations, there are two groups of people that should never consult the Internet for a medical opinion in a medical emergency, on any day of the week: those of Jewish origin and those of non-Jewish origin.

The “information superhighway” will offer you dozens of diagnoses for every medical symptom — most of them from unreliable sources. In a real emergency, turning to the Internet instead of seeking prompt medical attention may end up causing you serious complications.

In regards to your clueless hubby, if you truly felt you needed to keep your spouse in the dark about your sudden apprehensiveness concerning a possible medical emergency, there is trouble in paradise. While you are consulting with your rabbi about halacha and chilul Shabbos, you might want to confer with him about seeking marital counseling. He may just help you get to the bottom of some unresolved issues that are weighing on you.

Good luck!

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