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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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Islamic Bioethics — Recent Developments

Islamic Bioethics — Recent Developments

(p.195) 8 Islamic Bioethics — Recent Developments
Islamic Biomedical Ethics Principles and Application

Abdulaziz Sachedina (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The last chapter takes up recent advancements in medicine and biotechnology that have entailed forms of experimentation in which humans—especially the most vulnerable humans (infants, pregnant women, the retarded, the dying, the sick, and condemned prisoners)—are treated as research specimens rather than as inviolable creations of God. The inviolability of life has been the most important religious value in the Islamic tradition, which has led to the rulings that prohibit abortion, suicide, euthanasia, and other forms of aggression toward human life. Unforeseen applications of biotechnology in various areas—technically assisted reproduction, human cloning, and genetic engineering—have posed unexpected ethical challenges to traditional views of humans and their role in the natural and divine order. The chapter undertakes to unfold Islamic concept of nature, which permeates everything in an orderly fashion and which suggests the purposiveness of creation. Human beings as part of that nature are created with the capacity to understand right from wrong and to promote the good of the larger community of which they are a part. The chapter argues that biotechnology threatens the meaning of an individual‘s relation to society and nature, promising progress through genetic manipulation rather than the organic connectedness of morally and spiritually aware members of a community that consciously wills justice and compassion for its members in accordance with a divine order or plan.

Keywords:   cloning, genetic engineering, stem cell, informed consent, human subject

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