Issues in Islamic Biomedical Ethics: A Primer for the Pediatrician

Pediatrics. Oct 1, 2001 (108)4, 965 -971 (doi: 10.1542/peds.108.4.965)

Issues in Islamic Biomedical Ethics: A Primer for the Pediatrician

Kamyar M. Hedayat and Roya Pirzadeh


The United States is becoming increasingly pluralistic. Pediatricians must become familiar with the factors that affect the emotional, physical, and spiritual health of their patients that are outside the ken of the traditionally dominant value system. Although many articles have addressed the cultural and ethnic factors, very few have considered the impact of religion. Islam, as the largest and fastest-growing religion in the world, has adherents throughout the world, including the United States, with 50% of US Muslims being indigenous converts. Islam presents a complete moral, ethical, and medical framework that, while it sometimes concurs, at times diverges or even conflicts with the US secular ethical framework. This article introduces the pediatrician to the Islamic principles of ethics within the field of pediatric care and child-rearing. It demonstrates how these principles may impact outpatient and inpatient care. Special attention is also given to adolescent and end-of-life issues.

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