05 March 2008

A Beginner's Guide to Muslim Bioethics

Too interesting to relegate to the link sidebar; via Wired. Excerpt, from a Brown University anthropologist:

Of course there are always people who are extremists and who take absolutist positions -- but as a scholarly orthodox tradition, Islamic scholars have generally incorporated social contingencies into their opinions about the permissibility of modern practices, especially with the legal tool of "maslaha" -- which is a calculus of weighing particular benefits against risks (measured both socially and spiritually) [...].
The detailed breakdown provided by a bioethicist from King Faisal University (Saudi Arabia) is also highly educational. Although its phrasing is on the strict side, the actual range of technologies permitted is surprising.