Ask the rabbi

  • Halacha
  • General Questions

Asking the government for medicine


Rabbi David Sperling

Av 17, 5780
Hi there, A well known charitable organization that works with doctors and clinics in my country is asking us citizens to write the government a letter, requesting that life saving medication for the disease they work to support, be allowed here in this country. I would like to help the organization, but I do not understand anything at all about the medication or any possible implications. They present information but I don’t understand it. Since they are working with many doctors, and they are a reputable organization, would it be kosher to write the government a letter in my name as the organization asks, to support their efforts, can I rely on the fact that they are reputable and working with doctors? Or would there be anything wrong with this from the point of Halacha if I am writing to ask about something I don’t understand anything about or it’s implications? They say it could be life saving so I want to help, but I am always hesitant whenever I hear about new medications that are not even permitted yet.... Does Jewish law say I can trust them and ask for this? If c”v there are bad results from this campaign, like c”v they bring the medicine here but it causes bad effects and hurts people, am I partially at fault because I participated? Or is the organization at fault for setting up the project? I really want to help them but I never understand how to look at this field of medicine. Thank you so much,
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Without knowing all the details of the situation, let me try to outline what I believe is a general approach in Judaism to issues such as this. The halacha allows us to make decisions based on our limited understanding in each issue. Every choose we make about anything (which milk to buy, if to take the car or walk, etc) could of course lead, unknowingly, to terrible results (the milk company you bought from exploits its workers, your car pollutes the environment etc). Despite this, we are expected to use our own judgement on most issues and decide for ourselves what is the right thing to do. In many cases there is not even one correct answer. It is partially correct to drive – to save time and be able get more done – and partially correct to walk – to get exercise and help the environment. So too in this case. You will have to use your own judgement. Of course, it if forbidden to pretend that you have knowledge when you lack it – so writing to the government saying that you are an expert in this medical field, or that you know this medicine is fine, would be forbidden. However, I assume that nearly all of the people writing on this issue are regular lay—people, and the government knows this, and takes it into account. Ultimately, you must be the one to decide whether to support this cause or not. Blessings.
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר