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Islamic Teachings on Euthanasia

Mar 18, 2011 359 Words
Islamic Teachings on Euthanasia; According to Islamic teachings, indirect and passive euthanasia are not considered ‘mercy killing’ and are therefore permitted. Indirect euthanasia is the heightened administration of a strong medication to relieve severe pain, despite it being known that the medication may end the patient’s life or shorten it. Indirect euthanasia is permissible under Islamic teachings as the intention of the medication was to reduce or stop pain with a known risk of hurried death and does not include the complete intention of killing associated with direct/active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia involves allowing a terminally ill patient to die. It includes the termination of a treatment and the decline to begin a treatment; in which the treatment is confirmed useless. A fatwa was issued by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi that demonstrated this argument in ruling that ‘euthanasia is equidistant to murder but the withholding of treatment deemed useless is permissible.’ This Islamic teaching is due to passive euthanasia allowing death to take its natural course and therefore not interfering with Shari’ah. Switching off life support is also deemed permissible under Islamic teachings if it has been confirmed from a medical committee that the patient is permanently brain dead and has no hope of regaining consciousness. The termination of life support of a brain dead patient is not considered killing or murder in Islam as the patient is only breathing through medical devices and is actually dead as her/she is unable to conceive and has lost all senses. In an Islamic perspective life in all aspects belongs to Allah. Direct/active euthanasia and assisted suicide both remove the sacredness of life and take the power of the moment of death from Allah, which defies the Shari’ah as seen in the Qur’an. Also it causes perish in the afterlife and doesnot follow Allah’s path in showing strength through patience and endurance. Due to these reasons Islamic teachings consider euthanasia involving the intention of death as haram (forbidden) and Islamic jurisprudence does not recognise a person’s right to die voluntarily as their body and soul does not belong to them but to Allah.

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