CONCERNING MEDICAL TREATMENT
Quote- The Council of the Islamic Fiqh Academy,
meeting in its seventh session held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia, from7-12Dhul Qi'dah 1412H corresponding to 9-14May
Having considered the research papers
received by the Academy on the subject:
Having listened to the
discussions held about it.
The basic rule on medical treatment is that it is permissible in
Shari'a by virtue of the mentions made about it in the Holy
Qur'an and in both the verbal and the actual Sunnah, and in view of
its contribution to ''self-preservation '', one of the objectives of
Rulings on medical treatment vary according to the situations and
- A. It
is obligatory if foregoing it may result in the person's
self-destruction, loss of an organ or disability, or if the illness
can spread to others as in the case of contagious diseases:
is desirable if foregoing it may weaken the body without entailing
the consequences mentioned in the first case above.
is permissible if not covered by the preceding two cases.
is undesirable if there is a risk that the action to be taken may
provoke complications that are worse than the illness to be removed.
II. Treatment of Desperate Cases
- A. One
of the anxious of the Islamic faith is that illness and cure are in
the hands of Almighty Allah, that medical care and treatment is a
way of adopting the means laid down by Almighty Allah in the
universe, that it is impermissible to despair of Allah's mercy but
necessary to maintain the hope of recovery by the leave of God.
Doctors and the patient's relatives should raise the morale of the
patient and continue to look after him and alleviate his
psychological and physical suffering regardless of the chances of
recovery or back thereof.
concept of clinically desperate case depends on the assessment of
physicians, the available medical possibilities in time and space
and the patient's circumstances.
III. The Patient's Permission
- A. The
patient's permission of the treatment is essential if the patient is
in full legal capacity to give it. If he is not, the permission of
his (or her) legal guardian shall be sought according to the order
of guardianship in Shari'a, and in conformity with its
provisions which limit the scope of the guardian's action to the
benefit and interest of the person under guardianship as well as to
removing harm from him (or her). If the guardian, however, RESOLVES
not to give permission, his decision shall not be taken into
consideration if it is clearly detrimental to the person under
guardianship. The right of permission shall then be transferred to
the next guardian and ultimately to the ruler.
ruler shall order the medical treatment when deemed appropriate as
in case of contagious diseases and preventive immunities.
emergency cases, when the life of the victim is in danger, medical
treatment shall not depend on permission.
carrying out medical research, it is imperative to obtain the
agreement of the subject if he is totally fit in a way that is
devoid of coercion (as in the case of jailed people) and financial
enrichment (as in the case of the poor). Moreover the research to be
undertaken must not involve any harm.
It is not permissible to carry out medical research on persons that
are incapacitated or those of diminished capacity, even with the
permission of their guardians.
The Council of the Academy further recommends:
that the General Secretariat of the Academy request the
preparation of papers on the following medical topics for submission
to the future sessions of the Academy:
- a) Treatment
with prohibited things and criteria for the use of medicines.
of the physician.
of woman by a male doctor, and vice-versa, and treatment of Muslim
with Islamic spell (spiritual treatment).
doctor's code of ethic (to be distributed to more than one session
in treatment and order of priorities to be followed.
The research be undertaken on certain types of diseases which
generally result in the doctors inability or reliance to provide
treatment. Examples of this are as follows:
- a) A
person who has general cancer. Should be treated or just given
painkillers and tranquillisers.
child who has serious hydrocephalic (cerebral death) accompanied by
certain types of paralysis and his brain is atrophied (certain
areas of the brain are still working). Should such a child be
operated on? And if the child is afflicted with appendicitis or
pneumonia, should he be treated or left without treatment?
old and decrepit man has had thrombosis and is afflicted with a
kind of paralysis. He is then afflicted with kidney failure. Should
the kidney failure be treated with dialysis (solution)? If he has a
sudden cardiac arrest, should an attempt be made to rescue him, or
should he be left without treatment? And if he has pneumonia should
he be treated or left without treatment?
person whose brain has sustained extensive injury yet there are
parts of the brain which are still working (not included in the
definition of cerebral death) and he is in the coma and there is no
hope of improvement in his condition. If such a person has a
cardiac arrest, should he be rescued or left without treatments?
And if he has pneumonia, should he be treated? And who RESOLVES to
discontinue the treatment in such cases? Is it a panel of doctors?
or an ethical committee? or the doctors with the relatives? That
the stand of Shari'a and Sunnah on such cases and categories
May Allah grant us success.- Unquote