Medicine < Estifta < Speech <

Medical Issues

1- Q: With the help of modern technology, doctors can now identify the congenital deformities of the fetus during pregnancy. Because of the difficulties babies born with deformities face in life, is it permissible to terminate the pregnancy if it is found by a reliable specialist that the fetus has developed any deformity?

A: It is not permissible to abort the fetus at any stage for the mere reason that the fetus is deformed or for future difficulties the born child might encounter.

2- Q: Some couples have congenital blood diseases due to having abnormal genes. They could transmit the disease to their offspring and there is a great probability that the children would be severely affected and will suffer much throughout their lives. An example of this is hemophilia in which even slight injury causes sever uncontrollable bleeding which can end in death or paralysis. Considering the fact that it is now possible to diagnose this disease in the fetus during the first few weeks of pregnancy, is it permissible to have an abortion in such cases?

A: Should the diagnosis be definite and if having such a baby and maintaining him/her entails great difficulty and hardship, it is, in this case, permissible to abort the fetus before the soul enters its body. However, it is an obligatory caution to pay its blood money.


3- Q: a. Is IVF or test-tube baby permissible, when the sperm and the egg belong to a lawfully wedded couple?
b. Assuming it is permissible; can the couple go ahead with the procedure if a non-maḥram doctor carries it out?  And does the born child belong to the same couple?
c. Assuming that it is not permissible in itself; would the ruling be different if the continuity of the marriage was dependent on it?

A: There is no objection to carrying out the procedure in itself. However, it is obligatory to keep away from any preliminary step that might involve committing a ḥarām act like prohibited looking and touching.
b. The child born by way of this procedure belongs to the couple from whom the sperm and the egg were taken.
c. It is mentioned that carrying out the procedure, in itself, is permissible.

4- Q: Is it permissible for a woman, whose husband is sterile, to be artificially inseminated with sperm from a non-maḥram man (other than her husband), i.e., through placing the sperm in her womb?

A: In itself there is no legal impediment to inseminating a woman with the sperm of a non-maḥram man. However, it is obligatory to avoid the preliminary steps which are ḥarām, such as looking and touching. However, the born child in this way does not belong to the husband of the woman, rather to the person who donated the sperm and the woman whose egg and womb were used in the process.


5- Q: If a person is suffering from a fatal illness and doctors say he will die soon, is it permissible to remove certain organs from his body, such as heart, kidney, etc., before he is dead so that it can be transplanted in the body of another person?

A: If the removal of the organs from the patient’s body leads to his death, it amounts to murder. Otherwise, there is no objection to it provided that it is done with the person’s permission.


6- Q: We have noticed the recurrence of the use of the word "necessity" as a condition to allow the examining doctor to touch or look at the body of a woman. What does it mean and what are its limits?

A: What makes it necessary to look at or touch a woman’s body is confined to what the diagnosis and treatment of the illness require. As to its limits, it is judged by the degree of the need for it.


7- Q: Is it permissible for a woman doctor to touch and look at the private parts of another woman for the purpose of medical examination and diagnosis?

A: It is impermissible to do so except for necessary cases.


8- Q: Is it permissible for a male doctor to touch or look at the body of a woman during examination?

A: When treatment makes it necessary for the woman to uncover her body before a man doctor and for the doctor to touch and look at her body, and it is not feasible for the patient to see a woman doctor, there is no objection to it.

9- Q: What is the ruling in the matter of a woman doctor looking directly at the genitals of another woman when she can carry this out indirectly, i.e., through a mirror?

A: If it is feasible to carry out the examination through the mirror and there is no need for her to look at the woman’s private parts or to touch it. It is not permissible.

10- Q: Is it permissible for the male doctor to carry out plastic surgery for a woman which entails touching and looking at her body?

A: Plastic surgery is not a treatment for an illness. Accordingly, it is not permissible to either touch or look at the body unless it is done to treat burns and the like, and it is necessary to touch the body or look at it.


11- Q: Is it permissible for women to consult a male gynecologist if he is more efficient than the female gynecologists, especially when seeing the latter proves to be difficult?

A: If the examination and the treatment require ḥarām looking or touching, it is not permissible for the woman to see a male gynecologist unless it is not feasible to consult a skilled female gynecologist who may serve the purpose or it is too difficult to do so.


12- Q: To take the pulse count of a patient there has to be some sort of direct contact with the body. If it is feasible for a nurse from the opposite sex to do these wearing gloves, can he/she still do it without the gloves?

A: If it is feasible to go about this with the clothes on or by wearing gloves, there is no need for direct contact, by the opposite sex, with the patient’s body. It is, therefore, not permissible.

13- Q: Is it permissible for a healthy woman for whom pregnancy is not harmful to use any of the contraceptives, such as coitus interruptus, the diaphragm, the pill, and sterilization?  And is it permissible for the husband to force his wife to use any method other than coitus interrupts?

A: In itself, there is no problem in doing contraception by way of coitus interruptus. Nor is there any objection to resorting to any other method provided that it is driven by a sensible reason, it is not considerably harmful to her health, it is done with the permission of the husband, and does not entail ḥarām touching or looking. However, the husband has no right to force his wife to do so.


14- Q: What is the view on carrying out a vasectomy on a man for birth control purposes?

A: There is no objection to it in itself provided that it is done for a sensible reason and that it does not lead to considerable harm.


15- Q: Is it permissible for a pregnant woman, who wants to be sterilized, to have a caesarean so that the procedure of sterilization can be done at the same time?

A: We have already discussed sterilization. As for the caesarean, going for it or not is dependent on the need for it, or the request of the pregnant woman. At any rate, it is ḥarām for a non-maḥram man carrying out the operation to touch or look at her during both procedures unless in necessary cases.


16- Q: Is it permissible for the woman to use contraceptives without the permission of her husband?

A: It is problematic.


17- Q: A man with four children underwent an operation of vasectomy, without the consent of his wife. Is he guilty for not obtaining his wife’s approval?

A: Its permissibility does not depend on the consent of the wife and he is not liable.
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