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Islamic Biomedical Ethics Principles and Application$
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Abdulaziz Sachedina

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195378504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378504.001.0001

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Organ Donation and Cosmetic Enhancement

Organ Donation and Cosmetic Enhancement

(p.173) 7 Organ Donation and Cosmetic Enhancement
Islamic Biomedical Ethics Principles and Application

Abdulaziz Sachedina (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter deals with the sanctity and integrity of the human body after death. Anatomical dissection and postmortem examinations are a routine part of medical education and diagnostic techniques that stress the need for such procedure in understanding illnesses and evaluating incompletely known disorders or discovering new diseases. Accordingly, the scope of clinical diagnosis requiring autopsy has expanded beyond the traditionally validated justifications in the classical juridical formulations. One of the major decisions facing a dying person and his family is the possibility of donating organs for transplant. This means allowing surgical procedures that constitute a desecration of the dead in the Shari‘a in order to retrieve an organ. A visible incision into the body or the removal of externally visible or internal organs represents true desecrations. The chapter examines juridical principles that permitted an incision or mutilating procedure for the immediate saving of the life of a patient who is dying of organ failure. The possibility of organ transplantation for saving a critically ill patient did not exist in the past. The relatively high rate of success in organ transplantation has encouraged Muslim jurists to search for legal-ethical justifications to formulate their rulings to keep pace with the demand for such medical procedures, which are already a de facto practice in many hospitals in Muslim countries. All the jurists agree that saving of the life makes it possible to approve lesser evil of desecration for the larger good that such an act promises.

Keywords:   ownership, funeral rites, inviolability of human body, postmortem dissection, autopsy, advance directives, blood, milk, cosmetic surgery, sex change

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