Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Corona: Bodeket tahara

7 April, 2020

Question:

I am a frum midwife in the US. A local bodekes is now in quarantine for possible exposure to Corona and I was asked to help out. Where/how can I learn the halachos necessary to be a bodekes?


Answer:

We appreciate your reaching out to us, and your readiness to help.

A bodeket taharah typically performs a speculum exam to see if a woman has a vaginal or cervical lesion or other condition such as ectropion to which bleeding may be attriubted. When there is a plausible non-uterine cause of bleeding, it can mean that a woman is not niddah. A bodeket does not usually make a halachic determination herself. Rather, she reports on what she observes (its location, size, and nature) as faithfully as possible to the referring halachic authority.

All that being said, we must caution that at this time visits to a bodeket should be kept to an absolute minimum, for the safety of the women involved and for the safety of women like yourself.

A woman who suspects she has a non-uterine cause of bleeding should be instructed to use a hand mirror to see if she can spot something on her own. Or even to perform a couple of bedikot and see if the blood is consistently confined to a specific spot. As much as possible, she should describe the details of whatever bleeding she has to a halachic authority.

In this climate, only in extreme cases if there is no alternative should visiting a bodeket be considered. Please know that many poskim have no need for a bodeket.

A woman in quarantine or not feeling well definitely should not visit a bodeket. Any woman’s visit is subject to local health regulations and should also be upon consultation with her physician. Her consulting a physician is also important since if there is a medical issue that should be addressed, he or she is the appropriate address. You, too, should check the legal ramifications of your playing this role.

We hope this helps. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Chag kasher vesameach ubari.


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