Q. A number of Shailes were aroused by the painful death of my older brother R’ Yisroel Yehuda Bartfeld zt’l, and are as follows: 1) What is done with the severed legs or hands, cut from patients while alive to save their lives; do they have to be buried? Where and how? Can they be kept in a preserving liquid until burial? Is there a ceremony?
A. Poskim disagree. Pischei Teshuva (Y. D. 361: 1) quoting Shevus Yaakov (2: 101) debates whether one is obligated to do Kevura on limbs, that were detached from the living. (See also Gesher Hachaim p. 145, Minchas Chinuch 537, Igros Moshe (Y,.D; 1: 231-232 and others).
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that they should be buried, preferably in the kever where the afflicted is to use eventually. No ceremony is needed.
The custom in the Kehila of Mexico, in order not to add more pain to the suffering patient, was to ask the patient or family to choose a burial site in the Beis Olam, without negotiating financial terms at the time.
(See next questions).
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a