Features Q&A related to Medicine and Science
Q: If a patient is expected to die in the very near future from an illness, must his life be prolonged by artificial methods?
A: No, it is not mandatory to prolong his life, but if the patient asks for this, it is alright to do it.
Q: In a situation where a patient is brain dead and from a medical standpoint, there is no possibility of recovery, can his organs be removed for transplant into another?
A: Yes, the organs can be taken if needed with the family's permission, even if the patient had no will indicating that he will do this.
Q: If there is negligence on the part of the physician with consequent effects on the patient, what is required of the physician?
A: The physician is Islamically responsible and must pay not only compensation, but also diya- special penalty that must be related.
Q: What is the Islamic position on autopsy?
A: Autopsy is not permitted as a routine matter, but in certain cases, if it is necessary to determine cause of death or to free someone who has been suspected of being responsible for death it is okay.
Q: What about exhuming a dead body?
A: If there is a serious charge against someone and exhuming the body might prove that person innocent, in this case it is okay o exhume a dead body.
Q: When a woman is pregnant and the fetus staying in her womb will cause her death, is it okay to abort the fetus to save the mother's life?
A: If the fetus has not yet obtained soul (four months of gestation), it is okay to abort.
Q: Is it okay to let the mother die and save the baby?
A: No, the fetus must be aborted.
Q: If the mother or the baby is certain to survive but we don't know which, what should be done?
A: Do nothing for the time being.
Q: After the fetus has obtained soul, if we know both mother and baby will die, can we abort?
A: If we know both will die but aborting might save the mother, aborting is okay.
Q: If doctors can give a pregnant woman medicine to keep the fetus intact, can we abort it?
A: No, a woman cannot abort it.
Q: If a woman is pregnant and needs emergency surgery, but is three months pregnant and without the surgery she and the fetus will be harmed, can she abort?
Q: Is abortion okay without medical reason?
Q: If a pregnant woman has cancer and needs radiation therapy, which could cause defects in the baby, should it be aborted?
A: If there is 100% certainty that the fetus is in danger and it's before four months of gestation, it's okay to abort.
Q: If a fetus is determined by ultrasound to be abnormal and will not have consciousness and understanding, is it okay to abort before and after it has soul?
A: Before soul, there is no problem, but diya must be paid.
Q: If the child is born in this condition, is it okay to do nothing and let the child die to avoid pain and suffering?
A: No, this cannot be done.
Q: Is Contraception Islamically legal?
A: Any unharmful means, including IUD is okay, but a male physician should not be used to insert IUD if alternative is available.
Q: Can a man tell his wife not to have children?
A: A man cannot force his wife not to have children, but if a man doesn't want children, he can take measures himself to prevent conception.
Q: Can a woman have a tubal ligation without the permission of her husband?
A: Not unless it's medically necessary.
Q: Is permanent birth control – tubal ligation or vasectomy – Islamically acceptable?
A: If serious social interests are at stake and Islamic experts believe society is in need of family planning, then it is okay.
Q: If a woman cannot carry a baby for a sufficient time, can her egg and her husband's sperm be used to conceive an embryo in a laboratory and then have it placed in the womb of another unmarried woman to carry until birth?
A: There is no religious problem with this if it is a necessity, but it is preferable for the man to become halal to the surrogate mother.
Q: Who would be the mother in that case?
A: The real mother is the one from whom the egg came, but the second woman is muharram, just as if she had breast-fed them.
Q: Can a married couple go to a sperm bank to obtain sperm to put into the woman?
A: Sperm banks in general are not acceptable. If done, the child would belong to the owners of the original sperm and even the woman who carried the child would be muharram.
Q: I wanted to make sure that the Ramadan fast is not broken by taking a blood test. Thank you.
A: No it doesn't.