Shabbat and Yom Tov
Below is a GENERAL discussion of shabbat & Yom tov related issues. For simplicity, all references are made to “shabbat” but most of these questions would be relevant for Yom Tov as well. For an exhaustive treatment of the pertinent issues, see R. David Sukenik’s “Fertility Treatments on Shabbat.”
Procedures & Monitoring
-What if it is deemed medically necessary by the physician for monitoring or treatment to occur on Shabbat? Depending on the medical protocol, it may or may not be possible to try to avoid Shabbat. It is crucial to address these questions as early as possible in order to avoid the unfortunate scenario of needing to cancel a cycle that has already been started because a halakhic problem with shabbat or yom tov cannot be solved. Many problems can be solved with advance planning! (If Yom Tov “season” is approaching, the advisability of delaying treatment should be discussed.)
Below is a list of possible issues that may arise that should be addressed in advance:
- Transportation to the physician’s office vs. local hospitality. Is there a concern with techum shabbat?
- Signing of papers
- Permissibility of performance of procedure by the doctor (especially if the doctor is Jewish)
- Undergoing blood tests
- Undergoing ultrasound monitoring
- Carrying a semen sample (for use in IUI or IVF) outside of the eruv
-Sometimes it is possible to arrange for a visiting non-Jewish nurse to perform a blood draw, eliminating the necessity of visiting the office over shabbat.
With many injections, the exact timing is not crucial and they can be administered either before shabbat begins or after it is over. Some injections however need to be taken at a precise time or must be taken in the morning, so avoiding shabbat is not possible. The following questions would thus arise:
Is administering the medication on shabbat permitted? Is it preferable or required to arrange for a visiting non-Jewish nurse or other helper?
Is it allowed to assemble the syringe on shabbat, or should it be done in advance?
Is it allowed to mix/reconstitute the powder and liquid (if necessary) on shabbat or should it be done in advance?