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2022-01-17 07:20
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Islamic ethical framework for research into and prevention of genetic diseases

Aida I Al Aqeel

Medical genetics involves the application of genetic knowledge and technology to specific clinical and epidemiologic concerns. Using genetics to benefit society requires that empirically verified knowledge be used within an ethical framework that combines appeal to written precedent with sensitivity to the options of individuals and families dealing with choices and necessities within the laws, norms and traditions of their society. Islamic bioethics is derived from a combination of principles, duties and rights, and to a certain extent a call to virtue, ihsan. It emphasizes prevention, and it teaches that the patient must be treated with respect and compassion and that the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of the illness experience must be taken into account.Strategic planning for the prevention and care of genetic disorders, and for genomic research, within the context of Islamic religion and culture is promising and may provide lessons to the developed world. Islamic bioethics provides fundamental principles for genetic counseling, particularly in regard to consanguinity, which was part of the Arabian culture long before Islam but which was discouraged by the second Islamic khalifa. These fundamental principles are important for implementing many preventive and genomic research programs and for maintaining flexibility to respond to new biomedical technologies

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