The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Medical Issues

11 Question: What is the rule concerning isolating an AIDS patient? Is it obligatory on him to isolate himself? Is it obligatory on his family to isolate him [from the public]?
Answer: It is not obligatory on him to isolate himself just as it is not obligatory on others to do so. Indeed, it is not permissible to prevent him from frequenting public places like masjid, etc, as long as there is no danger of infecting the others with the virus. It is, however, obligatory for him as well as others to be careful in situations where there exists certainty or probability of infecting others.
12 Question: Is it permissible to engage in embellishing the face and the body [of another person]?
Answer: It is permissible, provided that one refrains from looking and touching what is harãm to look at or touch.
13 Question: In the process of fertilization in a lab, more than one ovum is fertilized at a time. Secured in the knowkolge that implanting all fertilized ova in the mother’s womb will endanger her life. Is it permissible for us to use only one fertilized ovum and destroy the remaining ones?
Answer: It is not obligatory to implant all the fertilized ova in a test tube into the womb. Therefore, it is permissible to use one ovum and destroy the remaining ones.
14 Question: There are certain hereditary diseases that are transferred from parents to children and pose a danger to their lives in the future. Modern science has acquired the means of preventing some of such diseases by fertilizing the woman’s ovum in a test tube and examining the genes to eliminate the problematic ones. Then it is returned the woman’s womb. The remaining genes [i.e., ova] are destroyed. Is this religiously permissible?
Answer: In principle, there is no problem in it.
15 Question: Is the process of test-tube babies allowed? In the sense that the wife’s ovum and the husband’s sperm are extracted to be fertilized outside the body, and then placed in the womb [of the wife].
Answer: In principle, it is allowed.
16 Question: Is it permissible to transplant the liver of pig in a human’s body?
Answer: It is permissible to transplant pig’s liver into the body of a human being.
17 Question: Insulin used for treatment of diabetics is sometimes extracted from the pancreas of pigs. Can we use it?
Answer: There is no problem in injecting insulin in the muscles, veins or under the skin.
18 Question: If an organ of an atheist is transplanted in a Muslim’s body, would it be considered ritually pure (tãhir) when it is considered, after transplantation, as part of the Muslim’s body?
Answer: An organ extracted from the body is ritually impure (najis) irrespective of whether it came from a Muslim or a non-Muslim. And when it becomes, by rejuvenation, part of a Muslim’s body or of someone who is considered a Muslim, it becomes tãhir.
19 Question: In certain cases, some governmental agencies demand that autopsy be performed on the body of the deceased to establish the cause of death. When is it permissible to agree to their demand and when is it not?
Answer: No heir of a deceased Muslim is allowed to give consent for autopsy to be carried out on the body of the deceased for the purpose mentioned above and other similar purposes; and it is necessary for him to prevent the autopsy if possible. Of course, if another important factor at play that of equal or more importance than this basic rule, it is permissible.
20 Question: Pharmaceutical companies in the West run tests on the drugs they manufacture before selling them in the market. Is it permissible for a doctor to use a drug on his patient —without the knowledge of the patient— before its testing period is over thinking that that particular drug would cure the disease?
Answer: It is necessary to inform the patient about the situation and seek his consent on using the drug on him, except when he is sure that the drug would not cause side effects and that the doubt is only about its benefit [or otherwise].
Click here to post a new question
العربية فارسی اردو English Azərbaycan Türkçe Français