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 1992.

Having considered  the research papers received by the Academy on the subject:
''Medical Treatment'''

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 legislation.

            Rulings on medical treatment vary according to the situations and persons involved:

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:
B.      It is desirable if foregoing it may weaken the body without entailing the consequences mentioned in the first case above.
C.      It is permissible if not covered by the preceding two cases.
D.      It 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.
B.      The 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.
B.      The ruler shall order the medical treatment when deemed appropriate as in case of contagious diseases and preventive immunities.
C.      In emergency cases, when the life of the victim is in danger, medical treatment shall not depend on permission.
D.      In 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.
b)      Cosmetic treatment.
c)      Responsibility of the physician.
d)      Treatment of woman by a male doctor, and vice-versa, and treatment of Muslim by non-Muslim.
e)      Treatment with Islamic spell (spiritual treatment).
f)      The doctor's code of ethic (to be distributed to more than one session if necessary).
g)      Competition 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.
b)      A 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?
c)      An 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?
d)      A 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 be indicated.

May Allah grant us success.- Unquote