Q & A : Medical Issues ( Total Questions : 23 )
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Question :The serious harm of narcotic drugs to the user or society in general (whether from being addicted to them or other [sociatal, familial, and ethical] reems) is well known. Therefore, the doctors and health care professionals are strongly opposing the misuse of drugs and the laws governing the society is also strongly against it. So, what is the view of the noble shari‘a on this matter?
Answer :By considering the serious harm of narcotic drugs, it is forbidden to use them due to the great damage they cause. Based on obligatory precaution, it is compulsory to refrain from using them in any way [even if there is no harm], except for medical purposes and the like; in the latter case, it can be used only to the extent of need.1
Question :Some people believe that a brain-dead person is a dead person, even if the heart has not yet stopped and that it will definitely stop after that. This is what the doctors say. Is a person who has been pronounced brain-dead be considered dead, even if his heart is still working?
Answer :The criterion in applying the term “dead” in so far as the application of religious laws goes is the common perception of people, in the sense that they would call him “dead”. And this is not proven in the situation mentioned in the question.2
Question :The medical profession demands that the doctor checks his female patients carefully; and since getting undressed for medical check up is common in some European countries, is it permissible to engage in medical practice here in such circumstances?
Answer :It is permissible, if one refrains from forbidden looking and touching, except where the check up of the patient requires them.3
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].4
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.5
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.6
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.7
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.8
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.9
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