Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is very concerned about doctors following proper procedures when dealing with patients. Unfortunately, instead of the Hippocratic Oath, Rabbi Yosef has decided to go with Exodus, which dates from the same approximate period but is much less compassionate and has not been updated ever since.
… the spiritual leader of Shas said that while doctors are expected to do everything in their power — even if it requires violating the Sabbath — in order to save Jews whose lives are in danger, the same does not apply for gentiles.
“If a gentile were to get injured in a car accident during Sabbath, and he is brought to the hospital — Israel must not treat him“…
Before you assume that Yosef is a raging bigot without a shred of compassion, rest assured he feels compassion for the “poor doctors” who are required by law to treat all patients that come to them despite a firm desire to let them die. Like the Kosher oven, the rabbi has come up with a legalistic way for doctors to still comply with the Iron Age rules: have another doctor physically attached!
The rabbi offered a halachic solution that follows a rule by which if a single person is doing the act, he is violating the Sabbath, while if two people are doing it together, they are exempt.
“The doctor who needs to operate will call on another doctor, or nurse, to hold the scalpel together and make the incision”…
Let’s play this out for a moment.
Your young daughter is running with a glass of water in her hands and she falls. The glass flies out of her hands and shatters. She lands on top of it. Shards of glass bury themselves in her eyes. Terrified, you haul the screaming child to the car and race her to the hospital. Once there your daughter is rushed into the operating room. The surgeon strides in, picks up her paperwork and glances at her name. He turns to the nurse and says, “We’ll both hold the scalpel” and then proceeds to try to take the glass out with millimetric accuracy without accidentally blinding her. Naturally enough, it’s much more likely that your daughter will be left blind in this situation. But then, it’s just a gentile child, so who really cares, right?
Ovadia Yosef is not some fevered crank of some tiny Westboro Baptist Church-like community. He is the founder and spiritual leader of Shas, the fourth largest political party in Israel and one that currently has its people in key positions in the Israeli government. That he thinks that this is in any way acceptable — and that it should be legal — is outrageous and worrisome. Obviously his ideas are not in any way universal (check out the comments in the article), but that such a person can actually lead a main party in a (partially) democratic state should worry all of us.