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Friday, July 26, 2013 

Pseudo-halacha takes precedence over a woman's health at a hospital

A story I almost missed, and this is very creepy. At the Assuta hospital in Tel Aviv, a woman who'd miscarriaged and needed the dead fetus removed from the womb was told she'd have to come back the next day because the operating room they worked in wasn't properly prepared for the Jewish priest working there. Whether the man is Haredi is irrelevant at this point; what matters is that any "religious/cultural sensitivity" at the expense of a woman's health is inexcusable.

On Life in Israel, one of the respondents said:
IF it is true as you heard it, it is a scandal on several grounds.

Asking a mother to retain a known dead fetus unnecessarily increases her risk of infection and other complications. It is also simply cruel, and it reflects badly on someone's notion of halacha that we would inflict such cruelty on a woman for dubious reasons (we don't actually know that a cohen would be exposed to tumat ohel at that moment; the nature of the prohibition is questionable because he is anus; etc.). I have to assume there is something missing in the story, because otherwise it is unconscionable and a hillul hashem.
Any cohen (priest) who'd pull such a lowly act, and come to think of it, any medics who'd kowtow to such sickly accomodations, does not deserve purity at all; he's already rendered himself so by demanding it to start with. As far as I know, Assuta is a private hospital, making them all the more ripe for a boycott if this is how they're going to work.

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