Rabbi Kanievsky Rules That Medics Should Not Treat Terrorists

(Photo: Gershon Elison/ Flash90)

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a leading Torah authority, met with the heads of Hatzalah, a volunteer medical emergency response service. He instructed the paramedics not to treat injured terrorists.

The heads of the organization first received a blessing from the rabbi and then took the opportunity to inquire about the Jewish law in the situation that is all too common during the wave of terror that has plagued Israel for several months.

The rabbi instructed them that according to Torah law, in cases in which it is clear to the paramedics who among the wounded is the terrorist, paramedics should not treat the terrorist before those wounded in the attack, even if the terrorist is more seriously injured.

Rabbi Kanievsky also ruled that if the terrorist was in a life threatening condition, they should leave him or her to die. He explained further that if the identity of the terrorist is not clear, then the paramedics need to treat all of the injured in the area so as to avoid a case in which a victim of an attack would not receive treatment.

This issue has been the focus of debate among Torah authorities recently. Official IDF policy for medics and the policy for the Magen David Adom (MDA) is to treat the most seriously injured first, without differentiating between terrorist or victims.

The Israel Medical Association (IMA) committee announcement that patients should be prioritized for treatment according to the severity of the condition, with no consideration as to whether the injured person is the victim or the terrorist,  created a controversy in the beginning of the month.

Rabbi Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, chairman of the orthodox ZAKA emergency response organization, stated in reaction: “In spite of the ethical code that says one should treat the most severely injured first, one should know that even morality has its boundaries. If we do not make this distinction, we lose our direction.”

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Source: Israel in the News