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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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(p.221) 9 Epilogue
Islamic Biomedical Ethics Principles and Application

Abdulaziz Sachedina (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The epilogue undertakes to assess the intellectual exchange between religious communities and medical researchers in the Muslim world for the development of biomedical ethics. The problem-solving method adopted by the prestigious Islamic Juridical Council of the World Muslim League in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is founded upon searching for normative responsa based on revealed sources only. The Council, represented by Sunni and Shi‘ite jurists, has deemphasized human dimension of medical enterprise by ignoring to evaluate human moral action and its ramifications for Islamic biomedical ethics. The classical juridical heritage, as demonstrated in this study, instead of functioning as a template for further moral reflection about critical human conditions and vulnerability in the context of modern healthcare institutions, has simply been retrieved to advance or obstruct legitimate advancements in biomedicine. Normative essentialism attached to evolving interhuman relationships has reduced Islamic jurisprudence to the search in the revealed texts rather than in theological ethics to estimate human nature and its ability to take the responsibility of actions performed cognitively and volitionally under variable circumstances. Religious and moral empowerment of average human person appears to be out of question for the Islamic religious establishment across Muslim world. It is this lack of empowerment of an individual capable of discerning right from wrong that makes Islamic juridical rulings in biomedicine inconsonant with international standards of human dignity and autonomous moral agency.

Keywords:   seminarian culture, World Muslim League, normative essentialism, Islamic judicial rulings, biomedicine

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