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Holy Spirit Interactive Youth: Scientific Facts in the Bible: Science and the Bible: The Bible and Laws of Hygiene

The Bible and Laws of Hygiene

Encyclopedia Britannica documents that in 1845, a young doctor in Vienna named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after child birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown.

Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before each examination, and the death rate immediately dropped to two percent.

Look at the specific instructions that God gave thousands of years ago to His people for when they encountered disease: "And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean" (Leviticus 15:13). Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands. However, the Bible says specifically to wash under "running water."



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