Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital does not discharge patients on
Shabbos, according to a letter Assistant Director Dr. Yair
Birnbaum sent to MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni this week.
In recent months Rabbi Gafni's office received complaints by
patients allegedly forced to leave the hospital on Shabbos in
contrast to the regulations at all hospitals that allow any
patient to stay until the end of Shabbos even if he or she is
released. In addition, the letters of complaint charged that
the maternity ward staff committed acted of chilul Shabbos
In his reply to Rabbi Gafni, Dr. Birnbaum denied that
patients were discharged from any of the wards on Shabbos.
"For those who come to the emergency room, the hospital has
an arrangement to provide lodging for those released from
medical supervision but who cannot leave the hospital due to
the sanctity of Shabbos. There are separate rooms for men and
women to provide for these needs."
Dr. Birnbaum says these rooms are designated for all those
released from the emergency room during Shabbos and are of
course available to women released from the delivery ward
before giving birth.
Regarding the conduct of the maternity ward staff on Shabbos
and chagim, Dr. Birnbaum said efforts would be made
not to offend maternity ward patients and that he instructed
the staff of the ward to show sensitivity in common areas of
the ward on Shabbos and to refrain from using the intercom
system. In addition on Shabbos the maternity ward will use
manual devices in place of digital thermometers and blood-