Euthanasia: Analysis for the Concept from Islamic Perception

Ahmad H Rayyan

Zarqa University

May 31, 2012

Euthanasia is ethically, religiously, and legally charged topic. The major ethical considerations against euthanasia included not to harm, starting of slippery slope, and justice and fairness. These considerations, however, are justified and supported. On the other hand, the major ethical considerations supporting euthanasia including respect for dignity and autonomy, reduction of suffering, and altruism. Actually, the major ethical considerations that supported euthanasia were not well justified. Euthanasia does violence to our dignity because it is going against our end to survive. In addition, it undermines people's autonomy as most people who ask for euthanasia do not actually want it, vulnerable people will feel pressure to request euthanasia, euthanasia cannot be controlled, and many doctors will not participate in it. Euthanasia does not reduce suffering, because additional suffering can occur to relatives and friends after the loss of loved one by euthanasia. In addition, the idea of "Reduction of suffering" is not clear since there is no specific kind or level of suffering that is determined to grant euthanasia. This will increase subjectivity in decision making. Altruism is not fully accepted to do euthanasia; it sounds inhumane to measure a person's life in dollars. However, if the resources are limited and there are other patients who are expected to have good prognosis using less resources. In this situation, euthanasia is acceptable because of lack of resources, not because it is a good choice.

Positive euthanasia is prohibited from Islamic view. The physician should remind his patient of the reward of those who tolerate their suffering. However, only administering analgesic agents that might shorten the patient’s life, with the purpose of relieving the physical pain is accepted, because it is not aimed at killing. Negative euthanasia is never accepted. However, withdrawing a futile treatment and allowing death to take its natural course for persons who are already died is acceptable. In this situation, the patient is already dead, and there is no use of keeping life supporting instruments.

Keywords: Euthanasia, Analysis, Concept, Islamic, Perception

JEL Classification: I12

working papers series

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Date posted: June 2, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Rayyan, Ahmad H, Euthanasia: Analysis for the Concept from Islamic Perception (May 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2071307

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Ahmad H Rayyan (Contact Author)
Zarqa University ( email )
Az Zarqa
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