Current Legal Issues

Modern Science and Technology

(Q.60) Modern science and technology have developed a way of blood test [DNA] to determine [for example] if the child is legitimate. A husband suspected his wife of having an affair with another man and bore him a child. The result of the test showed that the child was the other man's. It is worth nothing that this test cannot go wrong. Can the result of blood be relied on, or the principle of al waladu lilfirash (the born child belongs to the bed where it was conceived) should be paramount?

Al waladu Lilfirash is a principle devised for the husband who suspects the loyalty of his wife. However, whomsoever shall attain certainty through other means, be it through blood test or any other means, should feel free to act upon it. Of course, such a proof is not a means to determining adultery, and the Islamic penal code shall not apply, except with one of the means stipulated in the Shari'a. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.61) Modern science and technology have developed a method by which a killer could be nailed down, using blood test [DNA.]. It is so accurate and reliable that the crime weapon could also be identified. Is such a proof valid in a criminal jurisdiction and meting punishment out to the perpetrator of a crime, or should common Islamic penal code be applied?

The charge of murder is proven through Shari'a means, or by scientific means that is not swayed by personal judgement. If the description in the question falls within these parameters, it is permissible for the Marji' to pass judgement in the light of such a proof. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.62) A doctor who works in a hospital in Chicago, USA might, as a matter of standing procedure, not resort to giving a patient, who is suffering from terminal illness, life saving help like CPR. This procedure is adopted when, for instance, the patient's heart had stopped or blood pressure are dropping. In so doing the hospital and doctors will let the patient pass away peacefully. Should the doctor recommend DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) following hospital orders?

If the patient is non-Muslim, there is no objection to not giving the him life saving help like CPR. If the patient is Muslim, you have to exhaust all means to rescuing his life. The patient's request and/or that of his relatives not to save his life must be rendered ineffective.

(Q.63) What is the ruling on patients, who are brain dead, i.e. they do not have any senses and are only kept alive through some life supporting devices? Should the doctor, following hospital orders, remove such devices and let the patient die peacefully?

If the patient is non-Muslim, there is no objection to removing such medical devices, that help the patient continue life. If the patient is Muslim, it is not permissible to do so. The request of his relatives to switch off the life supporting machine must be rendered ineffective.

(Q.64) In the field of organ transplant surgery, it has recently been discovered that a pig's liver can be used for a human being to cure their liver disease. If a person's life can be saved by using a pig liver (or any other animal's organ), can this be allowed, even though pig is considered haraam animal in Islam?

It is permissible to transplant a pig's liver into the human body. Allah is All Knowing.