Sheva Brachot by Leil Hasder Muktzeh pot lid A Goy who leaves money on Sjabbat wrong name in a ketbuna

Malpractice

Category: // By Rabbi: הרב הילל מאירס // Answer date: 01.01.2021

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Question:

In my community a group of young men decided to start a volunteer EMT, emergency medical assistance. This past week one of the Mitpallelim fell and hurt himself badly. One of the volunteers who was there in the Minyan and he treated the man. The treatment was the wrong treatment and when the man got to the hospital his condition worsened and he needed a much more expense procedure. The injured man is claiming he had to pay much because the volunteer made a mistake. Can he clam that from him?

Answer:



If the volunteer receive professional training and he has knowledge about that sort of injury and he made a mistake then we can’t require him to pay. However, he should pay Midinei Shamayim. However, if he did not actually receive any official training in being an EMT and just has a first aid course or something and he was mistaken then we can require him to pay the patient.

Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 336 writes: The Torah gave permission for a doctor to heal, and this even a Mitzvah and part of the requirement to save lives. If he doesn’t use his skills he is like a murderer, even fi here is someone else who can heal him, since not every doctor is as good as the other. However, he must be an expert without anyone being more knowledgeable, otherwise he is taking risks with people’s lives. If Even HaEzer heals without the permission of the Beit Din he is required to pay for any damages even if he knows what do to. If he has the permission of the Beit Din and makes a mistake, he is exempt in our courts but required to pay to clear himself I the eyes of Heaven. If he kills him, he goes into Galut.
This Halacha is based on the ethe Halacha that a Dayan or Posek who rules mistakenly is exempt from paying if he has Smicha but is required to pay for Dinei Shamayim. If he made a mistake in and basic halacha then he must pay.
So a doctor has three conditions to heal: 1) he must be an expert in medicine 2) He is the top doctor in his field in the area 3) He has permission from the town Beit Din to be a doctor.
There are a few questions though. What is considered an expert? Does the rule of being the top doctor apply nowadays? R’ Shmuel Vosner in response to this question writes that it is unclear whether this halacha applies nowadays since anyone who is a doctor has ordination from medical school and knows what he is doing.
The Levush explains the Shulchan Aruch as to only referring to life and death situations as the reason , “How can he treat a life and death situation if there is someone greater than him?” Therefore, in treating non-life threating cases any doctor will be fine.
What is considered and expert though? We might be blet o bring a proof from the Hilchot of Brit Mila hic requires a Mohel to be an expert if he will do a Brit on Shabbat. Rashi n Menachot 42a defines a ‘Rofeh’ as a Mohel. The Shulchan Aruch considers him to have done a successful Brit and therefore he is to be considered an expert but the Bach still requires three. Which would be fine for a Mohel but a doctor would require whatever standards the Beit Din sets to be called an expert. The Chatam Sofer writes this Beit Din for a Doctor are the heads of the city, which in our day and age would be the Medical school.
So, if the doctor has a medical degree and he makes a mistake then he exempts from our Din but required to pay in Dinei Shamayim. If he does not to have a medical degree his required to pay. Therefore, if the volunteer has a fulfilled the requirements and has a certificate for EMT then his exempt from paying even if he made a mistake, but shod pay to fulfill the will of Heaven. However, if he doesn’t have that we can require him to pay.

Skip to content