J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100794
  • Clinical ethics
  • Paper

Photographing human subjects in biomedical disciplines: an Islamic perspective

  1. Salilah Saidun
  1. Correspondence to Dr Salilah Saidun, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia; s_salilah{at}
  • Received 14 May 2012
  • Revised 6 September 2012
  • Accepted 9 September 2012
  • Published Online First 4 October 2012


Visual recording of human subjects is commonly used in biomedical disciplines for clinical, research, legal, academic and even personal purposes. Guidelines on practice standards of biomedical recording have been issued by certain health authorities, associations and journals, but none of the literature discusses this from an Islamic perspective. This article begins with a discussion on the general rules associated with visual recording in Islam, followed by modesty issues in biomedical recording and issues of informed consent and confidentiality. In order to be deemed ethical from the Islamic perspective, all the aforementioned criteria must conform to, or not contradict, Islamic teaching.

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