Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide From Islamic and the Modern Medical Ethics' Perspectives
Mortazavi, Seyed Mohammad Javad
Medical Ethics and History of Medicine 2008;3(1): 34-43 [Online]. Accessed: http://iranmedex.com/english/articles_detail.asp [2010 November 30]
Life in Islam is so valuable that the holy Quran states that saving the life of one person is the same as saving the life of all human beings. Based on the doctrines of this holy and divine religion, a person's life does not belong to him, but it has been entrusted to him as a loan. The safe keeping of this trust is every Moslem's obligation. One of the controversial issues of medical ethics and philosophy is the issue of life and death. A particularly challenging case in the medical ethics is the issue of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, the deliberate and intentional act which is clearly intended to end a patient's life. Based on the doctrines of some man based religions, a patient's informed request for ending his life could become a basis for justifying euthanasia, but the governing laws and religions of many countries clearly reject euthanasia as an unlawful and unethical act. World Medical Association (WMA), as part of the Hippocratic Oath, prohibits and rejects euthanasia as unethical. Considering the variability of medical issues, the modern medical ethics tries to evaluate these issues from philosophical, legal and divine perspectives. In order to do this, it needs to take into considerations many decisions and standpoints. One of the most challenging issues in this field is euthanasia. This article makes a comparative evaluation of the perspectives of the divine religions specially Islam and the modern medical ethics about the issue of euthanasia.
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