Islam and palliative care

Choong, Kartina Aisha orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9407-1771 (2015) Islam and palliative care. Global Bioethics, 26 (1). pp. 28-42. ISSN 1128-7462

[thumbnail of Version of Record] PDF (Version of Record) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


Palliative care is experiencing an upsurge in interest and importance. This is driven, paradoxically, by modern medicine's increased ability to provide effective pain relief on the one hand and an acknowledgement of its limitation in delivering a cure for certain diseases on the other. With many Muslims suffering from such incurable diseases worldwide, they too are now faced with the decision of whether to avail themselves of pain relief offered within the framework of scientific medicine. However, while the general ethos of palliative care which is to promote the quality of life of those facing life-limiting illnesses is consistent with Islamic values, this paper explores whether the same can be submitted for modern methods of pain control. The investigation will be steered by two overriding questions. First, if pain and suffering could, as highlighted in the primary sources of Islamic Law, lead to the expiation of sins, can pain relief be taken? Second, is it religiously permissible to choose pain treatment options that could bring about iatrogenic addiction, the hastening of death and the impairment or obliteration of consciousness?

Repository Staff Only: item control page