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I know that someone who has recovered from a serious illness or returned from a long hospital stay recites Bircat Hagomel.

Should you or would it be appropriate to recite the bracha after receiving positive results from certain outpatient tests or minor procedures such as the following:

  • colonoscopy / endoscopy
  • throat culture confirms that you do not have strep throat
  • MRI / Cat Scan confirms that a suspected part of your body which might have required major surgery does not need surgery and can be treated via medications or physical therapy, diet, etc.
  • biopsy confirms that a suspected cancerous tumor is benign
  • end of radiation treatment - previous cancer danger is no longer present

This is not an exclusive list. General question is how "dangerously sick" does someone have to be to qualify to say Bircat Hagomel?

Note Assume for all these situations that the person is / was ill, which is why s/he's seeing the doctor. I.e. these procedures, such as colonoscopy, is not for "routine" checkup.

  • Say Baruch hatov vihameitiv? – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 30 '15 at 20:46
  • @IsaacKotlicky Perhaps, you should say that also. Bircat Hagomel has the concept (and words) tov within it. I wonder if that would make it redundant? – DanF Jun 30 '15 at 22:11
  • Except that gomel is about salvation from danger and hametiv is about positive events... – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 30 '15 at 22:12
  • So, perhaps Gomel should be said only when you have "healed" from an illness? In the above list, then, it seems that only the radiation treatment would qualify. – DanF Jun 30 '15 at 22:17
  • That would be consistent with the other incidences in which one says Gomel. I have no surviving sources referencing cancer Re: Gomel, though... – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 30 '15 at 22:48
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Birchas hagomel is only said if one has an illness and has recovered from it. If one never had an illness in the first place only a suspected one there is no reason to say birchas hagomel.

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    guest, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for contributing answers! This answer would be a great deal more valuable if you could edit in sources for your assertions of Jewish law. – Isaac Moses Jun 30 '15 at 15:16
  • Here, too, you should source your answer. In all the above cases, you can assume that the person was "ill", (I'll edit that into the question), otherwise he wouldn't see the doctor. Certainly, the instances such as radiation indicate a previous illness. The question is how serious the illness must be. – DanF Jun 30 '15 at 15:17
  • Well if he was ill then he has to say the birchas hagomel. Exactly what 'grade' of illness requires this is a question for a rov. – guest Jun 30 '15 at 15:20
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    @guest, the precise application of the rules to anyone's specific situation is a question they need to address to their rabbi. However, it's likely that there are general guidelines on the books that rabbis would work from. – Isaac Moses Jun 30 '15 at 15:46
  • When I was young I had my tonsils taken out. The rabbi didnt think I needed to make Hagomel. Whereas appendix removal is definitely a case for Hagomel. – guest Jun 30 '15 at 15:53

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