667. Listening to the Doctor

92:3 If a competent doctor or another person with medical knowledge – even a non-Jew – says that even though the sick person is not in danger at the moment, if we don’t give him this treatment his illness may become worse and then he may be in danger, we listen to the doctor and disregard Shabbos. This is true even if the patient says he doesn’t need us to. If the doctor says that without this treatment the patient will certainly die but that with it there is a possibility that he may live, we nevertheless disregard Shabbos for him.

For any wound that is in the inside of the body – which means from the lips inwards, including the teeth – as well as for injuries or swelling caused by a wound, we disregard Shabbos even without a doctor’s examination. Even if there are no doctors present and the patient doesn’t say a word, we do everything that we would do for him on a weekday. However, if we recognize that the patient is in no danger, then we wait and we do not disregard Shabbos for him. Pains are not the same as injuries. If a person’s tooth aches and he suffers from it to the degree that his entire body is ill, he may direct a non-Jew to extract it on Shabbos.