Islamic philosophy related to patient care

Islamic philosophy related to patient care

Muslim patients have cultural and religious expectations which health care

professionals are supposed to accommodate. This discussion highlights the

teachings of Islam and about medical ethics and the care of patients. Doctors are

expected to provide medical care to Muslims while respecting their beliefs.

Muslims use various texts from the Koran and the Islamic law to justify their

opinion on various medical issues. They are obliged to do the will of God even

when receiving medical care.


Muslims consider the medical profession as a gift of mercy from God to

the people. They believe that it is God who teaches man the knowledge about

medicine. Therefore, doctors are expected to treat this profession as a charitable

act, source of income as well as an act of worship. Access to medical care is a

basic right in Islam. The Muslim law upholds the protection and preservation of

life (Maqsood 1995).

There are some rules that are applicable in the practice of medicine in

Islam. Firstly, the rule of necessity overruling prohibition allows the permitting of

certain forbidden conventions if there is a necessity. Another rule is that harm

should be prevented at all costs. In addition, if two harms cannot be avoided, the

lesser of the two should be allowed. Another one states that the interest of the

public should supersede that of an individual.

Muslim patients are supposed to be treated respectfully and in line with

their religious beliefs and philosophies. Doctors should take care not to

inadvertently violate the rights and beliefs of Muslim patients, for instance, by

giving them food prepared with pork products, because pork is forbidden in

Islam. Meat served to the Muslim patients should also be slaughtered according

to Islamic regulations. If such food is not available, the relatives of the patient

should be allowed to bring proper food from home which has been prepared

according to Islam. The Muslim patients also need privacy and the doctors

should respect that.


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