Do Not Resuscitate: A Case Study from the Islamic Viewpoint

Saleem Saiyad



Physicians practicing in the West are encouraged to discuss advance directives, including the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, with their patients or their patients' families, especially when the prognosis is poor. From an Islamic standpoint, there are no clear guidelines on DNR orders for a Muslim patient in a setting of a nonterminal illness. A literature review on this topic was carried out, including a search of religious texts on the subject. It resulted in the following conclusion: It is imperative to seek remedy in life-threatening situations. When treatment benefit is doubted, seeking remedy becomes optional. If the treatment is futile, then it is not recommended to continue such treatment. It is encouraged for Muslim patients to have a living will, but they are discouraged from putting in a DNR order that covers all situations. In other words, they should be full code if there is a reasonable chance of recovery.


Muslim Perspective; Do Not Resuscitate; Life Support

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