Health Workers And The Sabbath

2 min


Often physicians and nurses are called upon during the Sabbath to minister to the sick, and sometimes it is impossible for them to take time for rest and for attending devotional services. The needs of suffering humanity are never to be neglected. The Saviour by His example has shown us that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. But unnecessary work, such as ordinary treatments and operations that can be postponed, should be deferred. Let the patients understand that physicians and helpers should have one day for rest. Let them understand that the workers fear God and desire to keep holy the day that He has set apart for His followers to observe as a sign between Him and them. Counsels on Health, 236

Let no man, because he is a physician, feel at liberty to do those things which God has forbidden. He should not travel on the Sabbath unless this is a necessity in order to relieve suffering humanity. He should plan his work so as to obey God’s requirements. The Lord says, “Verily, my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations.” Ex. 31:13. When there is real suffering to be alleviated, it is not a desecration of the Sabbath for physicians to travel upon it: but unimportant cases should be deferred. God sanctified and blessed the seventh day, and it is to be kept as His sacred memorial.…

Subtle, dangerous temptations will come to the physicians who believe the truth for these last days. That which would be condemned in a worker of another class is supposed to be admissible in a physician. Thus a multitude of sins are covered up, sins which are registered in the books of heaven as a departure from Bible principles. These temptations the physician may resist if he understands his peril and stands fast by his Saviour. If true to the word of God, we are on the side of Christ, on the side of the loyal, holy angels: we stand under the shield of Omnipotence. Of whom, then, should we be afraid? The Kress Collection, 60 

Physicians need to cultivate a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. It may be necessary to devote even the hours of the holy Sabbath to the relief of suffering humanity. But the fee for such labor should be put into the treasury of the Lord, to be used for the worthy poor, who need medical skill but cannot afford to pay for it.—Health, Philanthropic, and Medical Missionary Work, page 42. Medical Ministry, 216 

Those who, from whatever cause, are obliged to work on the Sabbath, are always in peril; they feel the loss, and from doing works of necessity, they fall into the habit of doing things on the Sabbath that are not necessary. The sense of its sacredness is lost, and the holy commandment is of no effect. A special effort should be made to bring about a reform in regard to Sabbath observance. The workers in the sanitarium do not always do for themselves what is their privilege and duty. Often they feel so weary that they become demoralized. This should not be. The soul can be rich in grace only as it shall abide in the presence of God. Medical Ministry, 215, 216 

Physicians should not suppose that it is right for them to make appointments or to travel on the Sabbath. Not only by precept but also by example they should honor the true Sabbath, which is to be immortalized as the evidence that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, placing the command concerning it in the very bosom of the Decalogue. It is to be sacredly observed.

Common, every day treatment should not be given on the Sabbath. Let the patients know that physicians must have one day on which to rest. Often it is impossible for physicians to take time on the Sabbath for rest and devotion. They may be called upon to relieve suffering. Our Saviour has shown us by His example that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. But physicians and nurses should do no unnecessary work on this day. Ordinary treatment and operations which can wait should be deferred till the next day.  The Kress Collection, 43 


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