Balancing my Risk with my Responsibility

My Responsibility

גופא מניין לרואה את חברו שהוא טובע בנהר או חיה גוררתו או לסטין באין עליו שהוא חייב להצילו ת"ל לא תעמוד על דם רעך והא מהכא נפקא מהתם נפקא אבדת גופו מניין ת"ל והשבותו לו

Concerning the matter itself, it is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that one who sees another drowning in a river, or being dragged away by a wild animal, or being attacked by bandits, is obligated to save him? The verse states: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of another” (Leviticus 19:16). The Gemara asks about this derivation: But is this obligation to save another really derived from here? Couldn't it be derived from there, i.e., from a different verse, as it is taught: The Torah teaches that one must return lost property to its rightful owner. But from where is it derived that one must help his neighbor who may suffer the loss of his body or his health? The verse states: “And you shall restore it [vahashevato] to him [lo]” (Deuteronomy 22:2), which can also be read as: And you shall restore him [vehashevato] to him, i.e., saving his body.

שרש מצוה זו ידוע, כי כמו שיציל האחד את חברו כן חברו יציל אותו ויתישב העולם בכך, והאל חפץ בישובו כי לשבת יצרה... ונוהגת בכל מקום ובכל זמן בזכרים ונקבות. והעובר עליה ונמנע מלהציל ויש יכלת בידו עבר על לאו.

The root of this commandment is well-known -just as one will save his fellow, so too, will his fellow save him. And thus the world will be inhabited like this, and God desires its habitation, as 'He created it to be inhabited.' ...And it is practiced in every place and at all times by males and females. And one who transgresses it and refrains from saving another and has the ability to do so has violated this negative commandment.

What if there is risk involved?

רבי אימי איתצד בסיפסיפה אמר ר' יונתן יכרך המת בסדינו אמר ר' שמעון בן לקיש עד דאנא קטיל אנא מתקטיל אנא איזיל ומשיזיב ליה בחיילא.

Rav Imi was captured in a dangerous area. R. Yochanan stated "Wrap the dead in his shrouds." R. Shimon ben Lakish responded "I will either kill or be killed, I will go with might and save him.

תשובה ומ"מ אם הספק נוטה אל הודאי אינו חייב למסור עצמו להציל את חבירו ואפי' בספק מוכרע אינו חייב למסור נפשו דמאי חזית דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דידיה סומק טפי אבל אם הספק אינו מוכרע אלא נוטה אל ההצלה והוא לא יסתכן ולא הציל עבר על לא תעמוד על דם רעך. הנראה לע"ד כתבתי:

However, if the potential danger leans toward certainty, he is not obligated to put himself in such a position for another's benefit. And even if the potential is fifty-fifty, he is not obligated, for "why would it be certain that your blood is redder, perhaps his blood is redder." But if the danger is not even fifty-fifty, but leans toward saving another without his being endangered, one violates "Do not stand idly by the blood of your fellow" if one does not save him. So it seems in my opinion.

American Red Cross

Blood donation is safe for healthy adults. There’s no risk of contracting disease. New, sterile equipment is used for each donor. Some people may feel nauseous, lightheaded, or dizzy after donating blood. If this happens, it should only last a few minutes. A 2008 study found a small decrease in the risk of certain cancers in people who regularly donated blood.

Bone Marrow is usually withdrawn under a general anesthetic in the operating room using sterile technique. During the procedure, approximately 2 liters of bone marrow is withdrawn. This may seem like a large amount, but it represents less than 10% of your bone marrow. It may help to know that your body makes over 20 billion blood cells in your bone marrow every day. The number of cells in your bone marrow is usually completely back to normal levels within 4 to 6 weeks, though your body can function perfectly fine in the meantime. Risks related to donating bone marrow are mostly related to the risk of the surgical procedure. Anytime you have surgery, there are the risks of general anesthesia as well as the risk of bleeding and infection.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, 2.4% of people who donate bone marrow experience a serious complication. Very few bone marrow donors suffer any long-term complications from their donation.

Around the world, researchers looked at over 27,000 people who had donated bone marrow in 35 countries. Of these people, there was one death and 12 serious events (mostly heart related) that were felt to be related to bone marrow donation.

National Kidney Foundation

Kidney donors' survival was similar to that of the general population when matched for age, sex, and race or ethnic group. Of 3,700 donors, the need for dialysis or transplant developed in only 11 donors, which is actually a lower rate than in the general population. Donors reported their quality of life was “excellent.”