Along with our ability to prolong life and support vital organ function, we are now able, indeed encouraged in some quarters, to act more swiftly to end it. This raises complex questions about the definition and process of dying, and the physician’s role within it.
Must we always act to prolong life, even in the likelihood that our treatments may prove futile?
How can we extract from these conflicting demands a coherent understanding of the way a doctor must act?
This series will, God willing, address the following questions:
Which of the prevalent medical definitions of death can Muslims accept?
Is it always necessary to seek and provide medical treatment?
Can support of vital organs ever be withdrawn?
Are ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ and ‘Advance Directives’ valid legal documents within the Sharia?
Can a doctor ever act to take a patients life? Can euthanasia be justified?