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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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Health and Suffering

Health and Suffering

(p.77) 3 Health and Suffering
Islamic Biomedical Ethics Principles and Application

Abdulaziz Sachedina (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Muslims, like other peoples of faith, have struggled to reconcile God‘s omnipotence with the persistent evils of the world, including the pain and suffering that attend illness. This chapter treats the problem of theodicy in the context of Islamic biomedical ethics. The purpose of raising the issue of suffering in the context of disease and death is not to provide a definitive solution to the problem, nor is it to absolve God of responsibility for evil by granting it a separate ontological status. The main objective in this chapter is to demonstrate the importance of understanding religious and cultural attitudes among Muslims that influence their choices in health-care and medical treatment. It addresses the relationship between theology and medicine in Islam to probe the sociological and psychological dimensions of the problem of suffering as it relates to a bioethical principle such as, “No harm, no harassment.” This principle has become the major source of bioethical decisions in the Muslim community and obliges an active response to unparalleled medical advancements in prolonging the lifespan of terminally ill patients.

Keywords:   suffering, moral evil, natural evil, theodicy, medical advancements, terminally ill

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