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Brain death revisited: it is not ‘complete death’ according to Islamic sources


Concepts, such as death, life and spirit cannot be known in their quintessential nature, but can be defined in accordance with their effects. In fact, those who think within the mode of pragmatism and Cartesian logic have ignored the metaphysical aspects of these terms. According to Islam, the entity that moves the body is named the soul. And the aliment of the soul is air. Cessation of breathing means leaving of the soul from the body. Those who agree on the diagnosis of brain death may not able to agree unanimously on the rules that lay down such diagnosis. That is to say, there are a heap of suspicions regarding the diagnosis of brain death, and these suspicions are on the increase. In fact, Islamic jurisprudence does not put provisions, decisions on suspicious grounds. By virtue of these facts, it can be asserted that brain death is not absolute death according to Islamic sources; for in the patients diagnosed with brain death the soul still has not abandoned the body. Therefore, these patients suffer in every operation performed on them.

  • Brain death
  • absolute death
  • soul
  • organ transplantation
  • islam
  • islamic jurisprudence
  • religious ethics
  • moral and religious aspects
  • donation/procurement of organs/tissues
  • attitudes toward death

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