Is there any article or guidebook that tells how to determine that a sick person has reached the stage of being a גוסס (gosess) to the extent that any kohen present should leave?

A gosess  is a patient who has reached the terminal stage of his illness where nothing else can be done and whose death is imminent.

  • 2
    does item three help? rabbiwilson.com/2011/12/28/…
    – rosends
    Mar 29, 2016 at 16:20
  • 1
    @Danno Yes thank you - it is a possible answer. Mar 29, 2016 at 16:27
  • how about when the doctor says his death is imminent
    – ray
    Mar 29, 2016 at 20:51
  • @ray That's fine if the doctor is there and is prepared to be so definite. Mar 29, 2016 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


In Beshvilai Harefua #6 - Sivan 5744 there is a piece written by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Zatzal. He says that Doctors can not recognize when someone is Goses.

ולענין סימני גסיסה שמעתי שהרופאים אין מכירים בהם

  • I asked how to determine that a sick person has reached the stage of being a גוסס and you answer that the doctors cannot tell? Mar 29, 2016 at 20:55
  • Correct. My answer is that Rabbi Feinstein says that doctors can not tell. Thus how can anyone tell you? Mar 30, 2016 at 17:57
  • Rav Feinstein attributes their inability to tell to their ignorance of (a) the din and of (b) the effects of intervention on a goses. So do you think a Talmid Chochom might be able to tell? Mar 30, 2016 at 18:07
  • He does not indicate that he knows. So I doubt anyone knows. Mar 30, 2016 at 18:20

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