Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

Location: London, United Kingdom

Monday, November 28, 2005

Suicide And Euthanasia In Islam

A somber topic, but I came across this article by Dr Abdulaziz Sachedina of the University of Virginia, on the 'right to die' in Islam, which I found very interesting. Whilst not downplaying the importance of debates on foreign policy or social integration in Western societies, the focus on the above issues has led to a lack of discussion on cutting edge ethical problems such as Euthanasia.

On this particular issue, if one goes along with the conclusion reached by Dr Sachedina that Islam permits the withdrawal of treatment, (provided there is proper consultation between doctor and patient) but forbids the direct taking of life, then there is not much of a problem as most countries have laws which correspond to this. However, the Netherlands has already legalised Euthanasia, the state of Oregon in the U.S has passed right to die legislation and it is not inconceivable that similar laws will be passed in other countries, especially in Europe.

If such a situation arises, there seems to me to be no where for an ordinary Muslim to go to seek ethical guidance on this. Apart from the fact that there is very little debate, even if there was debate, it is not clear that there are enough qualified scholars who have the scientific wherewithal to deal effectively with such problems. Passing judgment on things such as stem-cell research, therapeutic cloning and genetic engineering, without the requisite scientific knowledge is going to lead to to seriously distorted outcomes which may have huge implications for future generations of Muslim.


Blogger MSK said...

Came across this blog of yours.
It is nice that you have thought of these as ethical issues. The thought of stem cell research had raised similar concerns for me too. And i aslo agree that i had to abandon further thought on it , due to lack of knowledge and experts to contact on this issue. If you have done futher reasearch on this .. I would be happy if you could share it ..


12:56 pm, June 23, 2006  

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