Causing a Parent to bleed

Hitting one’s parents:[1]

One who hits his father or mother during their lifetime is liable for the death penalty of strangulation. This applies whether to a son or a daughter. However it only applies if blood was drawn through the hit. If however blood was not drawn through the hit, then [one is not liable for death, although] it is included within the negative command against hitting any Jew.[2]  


Giving medical treatments to a parent:

A. Removing a splinter from a parent:[3]

It is forbidden to remove a splinter from a father [or mother] due to that one may come to cause him a wound.


B. Amputation and bloodletting:[4]

It is forbidden for a doctor to amputate the limb of one’s father [or mother] or to cut him to perform bloodletting, even though he intends to do so for healing purposes.[5] This however only applies if there is another doctor available to perform the procedure. If however there is no one else available and the parent is in pain [or danger] then he may blood let him and amputate him according to that which the parent allows.[6]



May one scratch his father’s back?

One may only do so if it will not cause bleeding.


[1] Rama 241/1; Mishneh Sanhedrin 85b

[2] Rama ibid; Tur 241

[3] Michaber 241/3; Rambam

[4] 241/3

[5] Michaber ibid

[6] Rama ibid; Rambam Mamarim 5; Ramban

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to do the above procedures even if no one else is available. [Rif and Rosh; Shulchan Gavoa in accordance to Michaber ibid]

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