Hello, I am wondering what is the view on people with disabilities or other medical conditions taking “risks” such as driving a car or even being a pilot if their conditions are controlled.
I have been looking at different laws in certain states and other countries in regard to people with diabetes driving a bus with passengers. The UK allows for people with diabetes who have their potential symptoms controlled by diet alone does not even need to report to the government and some states also follow that. UK and many U.S. states also allow for diabetics to drive buses if the condition is controlled by medication though some have an interval period after medication. However, Washington D.C. does not allow any diabetics to drive buses at all regardless of how the condition is controlled.
It looks like according to Law of the Land, Judaism will allow for people with medical conditions to drive buses with passengers. There is still the risk of someone with diabetes having a stroke or some other ailment which may affect consciousness and put the driver’s live as well as that of the passengers in danger.
So are diabetics and other people with conditions that may affect consciousness allowed to advocate to be able to have the law changed in Washington D.C. and other places that restrict the rights of people with disabilities so they can drive buses with passengers even if there is some remote chance they may risk the lives of others but prove that they have their condition under control?
It is difficult to answer this question without being expert in the relevant fields: What are the risks and dangers involved.
Assuming a minimal risk, which barely adds to the general dangers that all driving involves, it seems only fair that people with these conditions should not be excluded.
There is little in the halachic corpus about law of the public sector and constitutional law, and even less about the “rights” that we are used to in modern discourse, so that citing sources for a precise halachic ruling on this question will be challenging.
However, there are many sources that express a deep understanding for the importance of integrating handicapped people in public and religious life. This includes a teshuvah of Rav Moshe Feinstein permitted guide dogs to be brought into shul for assisting the blind (Orach Chaim 1:45), a teshuvah of Rav Ezra Batzri (Techumin 4 p. 455) permitting somebody in a wheelchair to serve as the Chazan, and many others. Where possible, and as noted assuming the increased risk is not significant, it seems that a person with the relevant disability should not be excluded from the positions discusses.