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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 March 2021

Terminating Early Life

Terminating Early Life

(p.125) 5 Terminating Early Life
Islamic Biomedical Ethics Principles and Application

Abdulaziz Sachedina (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores two issues related to terminating potential life: one is the temporary prevention of conception, and the other is the permanent control of fertility to avoid future pregnancies. Both these procedures have long been common in the Muslim world. Whether viewed as forms of family planning or abortion, the issues have dense moral and legal implications. Muslim legal scholars have treated the subject of birth control in great detail, and a consensus has emerged regarding its permissibility as a means of population control, especially insofar as it can improve the living standards of predominantly poor Muslim societies. However, the ethical dimension of preventing conception or terminating pregnancy within marriage remains unexplored. The chapter demonstrates that the moral dimensions of the issue are closely tied to cultural attitudes about the need to have children as part of one‘s entry into manhood and womanhood. Procreation is taken as a divinely ordained obligation provided it is not harmful to one of the spouses. Sexual pleasure is to be confined to marriage. It is the balancing of these two factors that seems to underlie the juridical rulings on preventing conception. This chapter deals with abortion or termination of early life through medical intervention, either by parental decision or medically required procedures that interfere with the religious concept of inviolability of life in general, and embryonic life in particular.

Keywords:   genetic diagnosis, fetus, abortion, ensoulment, termination, parental decision

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