Medical Ethics, Islamic Perspective
Keywords: Islamic Medical ethics, Shariah, Medical school teaching
AbstractThe technological advances of today's medical practice are something in which man can take pride, but they have brought us face to face with such questions as what is life and what is death and what is the purpose of life. Ethical and moral values have been challenged like never before. Since Islam is a comprehensive 'deen' offering us guidance in all aspects of life, we expect Islam to give us guidance for the present day dilemas faced by humanity because of these new medical/technological advances. As Muslims and physicians, it is our responsibility to search for answers to questions such as the permissibility of cloning. If it is permissible, is the clone a sibling or a child? what is the role of surrogate mothers? Are biotechnical parenting methods making use of sperm and ova banks permissible? This calls for our deliberate indulgence in the time-honored rules of shari'a (Islamic law) to arrive at certain workable guiding principles. There
have been previous attempts at discussions of these and other subjects that resulted in solving some of these problems, but many remain unsolved and need further discussion. I suggest annual programs for holding ethics conferences attended by prominent sharI'a and medical scholars to discuss these subjects. The outcomes of these conferences can be published and disseminated. I suggest taking advantage of the Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OlC) for helping in this direction. I also recommend the introduction of the subject of ethics in all medical schools in Muslim countries. Modern communication technology can be utilised effectively
and inexpensively. I urge the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) and the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) to look into these suggestions urgently.
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