A bioethics seminar has recently adopted the proposal by IUMS Secretary General Dr. Ali Al-Qaradaghi linking the general principles of medical and biological ethics to the objectives of Shariah instead of the prevailing four principles. The intensive seminar on bioethics, organized by the Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) , a member of the School of Islamic Studies in Qatar Foundation, attempted to reach a comprehensive code of bioethical principles.
The seminar that lasted throughout three days, 5-7 January 2013, saw discussions of various ideas presented by Prof. Ahmed Al-Rayssouni, Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghudda, PhD. Mohamed Ali Al-Bar, PhD. Ihsan Shams Pasha, and Prof. Ali Al-Qaradaghi ; all of whom presented research papers around the subject of the general principles of biological and medical ethics.
The seminar was moderated by Prof. Mohamed Al-Ghali while figures as prominent as Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Prof. Tariq Ramadan, Prof. Jasser Auda, and Prof. Annelien Bredenoord attended the rich and constructive discussions of immensely valuable papers.
Dr. Ali Al-Qaradaghi commented on the research by PhD. Mohamed Ali Al-Bar on the four basic principles of bioethics, and the research by Prof. Tom L. Beauchamp who initiated, together with his colleague James F. Childress, the idea of the four principles of bioethics that have become widespread and subject of study and research in the Western world. Prof. Al-Qaradaghi focused on the positive sides of these four principles offered whatever constructive criticism that can be addressed to Beauchamp who received it with an open mind. The points of criticism were discussed warmly and openly, as the attendees admitted to the background utilitarian and other philosophies where these principles originated.
Prof. Al-Qaradaghi then presented a proposal of medical ethics based on the objectives of Shariah and linking them firmly to these objectives while at the same time clarifying the standard rules that govern them precisely. In this view, he formulated an integrated theory with an Islamic background, completely originating in Islamic philosophy albeit in a language comprehensible to the west and with the required open-mindedness to incorporate these four principles in the general objectives of Shariah with its Islamic spirit and regulations that firmly set the standards and the exceptions to these regulations based on evidence.
In his proposal, however, Prof. Al-Qaradaghi added two purposes of Shariah law: the first is the protection of social security with all its political, economic, social and environmental sides; while the second is the protection of the security of the just state, and applying its rules and systems. The professor proceeded to integrate all the required principles within these eight purposes of Shariah ([the preservation of] religion, soul, mind, money, offspring, honor, security of society, and security of state). A fair time was devoted to the discussion of this proposal from all angles by the sheikhs and scholars as well as the medicine and biology specialists.
The seminar ended in accepting and adopting the proposal to be discussed later in another specialized seminar on a broader scale and in the prospect that Prof. Ali Al-Qaradaghi will present this proposal in its complete form based on a number of choices, for example:
1- Presenting a proposal that links all bioethics to the eight purposes of Shariah along with the standard rules and benchmarks.
2- Presenting another proposal on the basis of linking all bioethics to the five purposes.
3- Presenting another proposal on the basis of linking all bioethics to only three purposes: (the [preservation of the] soul, the mind, and the offspring).
In the conclusion, Prof. Al-Qaradaghi agreed to develop a proposal that includes these choices and the seminar adopted this great project highlighting the general principles of bioethics within light of the objectives of Shariah law, a great achievement that was made thanks to the CILE, the attendees, and the owner of the proposed project.