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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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SPECIAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 629-637
Seeking Remedy, Abstaining from Therapy and Resuscitation: An Islamic Perspective

Bioethics Center, International Medical Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed Ali Albar
Bioethics Center, International Medical Center, P.O. Box 11639, Jeddah 21463
Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 17951958

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This paper discusses the Islamic viewpoint on seeking remedy. It is imperative to seek remedy in life threatening situations or in case of highly infectious diseases. In such circumstances, the Muslim government can impose quarantine and enforcement of treatment to protect the community. In case of minors, the guardian could be appointed by the Qhadi (magistrate), to give consent to the necessary management. Otherwise, an adult competent male or female should give his free consent in order to start any medical or surgical procedure. He can abstain from treatment at any time. When treatment benefit is doubted, seeking remedy becomes facultative and if it seems that the side effects and inconvenience of treatment is more than the expected benefits, it becomes Makrooh (disliked). If the treatment is futile, then there is no need to continue such treatment. If treatment involves amulets, divination, talismans or sorcery, then it should be prohibited. Usage of prohibited materials e.g. pork or alcohol is not allowed except in certain limited situations, where there is no alternative medicine and it should be prescribed by a competent Muslim physician where it is considered as a necessity (necessity knows no law). Fatwas from the permanent committee of Religious Sciences, Research and Ifta of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding "do not resuscitate" policy will be fully discussed.

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