Darurah (Necessity) and Its Application in Islamic Ethical Assessment of Medical Applications: A Review on Malaysian Fatwa

Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (5):1319-1332 (2016)

Abstract
The discovery and invention of new medical applications may be considered blessings to humankind. However, some applications which might be the only remedy for certain diseases may contain ingredients or involve methods that are not in harmony with certain cultural and religious perspectives. These situations have raised important questions in medical ethics; are these applications completely prohibited according to these perspectives, and is there any room for mitigation? This paper explores the concept of darurah and its deliberation in the formulation of fatwas on medicine issued by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia. Darurah has explicitly been taken into consideration in the formulation of 14 out of 45 fatwas on medicine thus far, including one of the latest fatwas regarding uterine donation and transplantation. These fatwas are not only limited to the issues regarding the use of unlawful things as remedies. They include issues pertaining to organ transplantation, management of the corpse and treatment of brain dead patients. While deliberation of darurah in medicine may vary from issue to issue, darurah applies in a dire situation in which there are no lawful means to prevent harm that may be inflicted upon human life. Nevertheless, other aspects must also be taken into the deliberation. For example, consent must be obtained from the donor or his next of kin to conduct a cadaveric organ transplantation.
Keywords Islam  Medicine  Bioethics   Darurah  Fatwa  Halal
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-015-9698-1
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