I recently had a bad experience with a doctor (who I think might be Jewish). I was thinking of posting details of the situation on a reviewing site online where people submit reviews of doctors they’ve seen for others’ benefit. Is there a problem with doing so?

Many thanks.

Answer:

This is a delicate question concerning the laws of lashon hara.

The Chafetz Chaim posits a number of concurrent conditions that must be fulfilled before one can say something negative about a fellow Jew.

The central conditions are that there should be a concrete benefit, which cannot be reached by alternative means, that the experience should be first-hand, and that the report it not exaggerated.

In this case, it appears that these conditions are fulfilled: There is a concrete benefit to the general public, and there is apparently no other way of achieving it.

The Chafetz Chaim speaks about warning the person in question first, and trying to achieve the benefit by this means – but this is unlikely in the story of the doctor (this is for your discretion).

Yet, an important point to mention is that the the ‘sinner’ (in terms used by the Chafetz Chaim) should not receive punishment beyond his sins.

In this case, this will depend on the type of ‘bad experience’ you have had. If the doctor treated you badly in a way that endangers others or places them at some risk, the information should be passed on: Such a doctor does not ‘deserve’ patients, and it important that the public should know.

But if the doctor was simply “not very nice,” “unfriendly,” and so on, in a way that does not necessarily affect his practice, the information should not be passed on. This is not an actual “professional failing” on his part, and the course of treatment he prescribes is not affected.

 

Share The Knowledge

Not what you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged Slander (Lashon hara) or ask your own question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *