Jewish Medical Ethics: The Role of a Physician in Jewish Law
from jewishvirtuallibrary.org by Daniel Eisenberg, M.D.
The Torah states: “I am the L-rd that heals you!” (Exodus 15:26) This verse implies that G-d does not need man to cure the afflictions that He creates. If so, by what virtue does man attempt to “short circuit” His will and attempt his own meager cures? Does man have any right to heal at all, and if he does, are there any limitations on how it may be accomplished. Is every action done in the name of therapy justified, solely because a physician performs it? Because Judaism recognizes the enormity of these questions, it requires direct permission from G-d to permit the practice of medicine and carefully circumscribes the limits of medical practice. Fortunately, the duty to save one’s fellow man is well grounded in the Torah and the restrictions are discussed at length in our codes of Jewish law.