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Chapter 91:9 & 10a
Non-Critical Illness on Shabbos

9. A person who is uncomfortable because he overate, may place his finger down his throat on Shabbos, so that he will vomit (1).

10 (a). [The following applies to] a wound that is not critical (2): one may not place a medicated dressing upon it on Shabbos, even if it was prepared from the day before, nor may one place anything on it that serves as a remedy ("refuah"); this includes a leaf (that is known for its medicinal properties), or an old, dry piece of cloth (3), for it too aids in the healing process (4).

However, one may, on Shabbos, place something upon it which will prevent it from being scratched (or irritated).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Using a drug to induce vomiting would be prohibited due to the rabbinical prohibition against taking medicine on Shabbos.

(2) This applies to a wound that is neither life-threatening, nor does it cause severe pain, or threaten the normal functioning of a limb. In any of these cases, the prohibition against applying a medical remedy on Shabbos would obviously not apply.

(3) The Talmud implies that old, dry cloth (that has never been used before on a wound), somehow aids in the healing process. Since the Talmud was written about 1500 years ago, its medical advice should not be relied upon without consulting a qualified physician.

(4) Of course, one can and must do whatever is necessary to prevent infection or other deterioration of the wound.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

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