Bioethics for clinicians: 21. Islamic bioethics

Daar, Abdallah S.; Al Khitamy, A. Binsumeit
January 2001
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;1/09/2001, Vol. 164 Issue 1, p60
Academic Journal
Islamic bioethics derives from a combination of principles, duties and rights, and, to a certain extent, a call to virtue. In Islam, bioethical decision-making is carried out within a framework of values derived from revelation and tradition. It is intimately linked to the broad ethical teachings of the Qur'an and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, and thus to the interpretation of Islamic law. In this way, Islam has the flexibility to respond to new biomedical technologies. Islamic bioethics emphasizes prevention and teaches that the patient must be treated with respect and compassion and that the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of the illness experience be taken into account. Because Islam shares many foundational values with Judaism and Christianity, the informed Canadian physician will find Islamic bioethics quite familiar. Canadian Muslims come from varied backgrounds and have varying degrees of religious observance. Physicians need to recognize this diversity and avoid a stereotypical approach to Muslim patients.


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