This course provides an introductory, accessible but also in-depth overview of the emerging and promising field of Islamic Bioethics. It is developed and taught by one of the world’s leading scholars in Islamic Ethics, Dr. Mohammed Ghaly (Professor of Islam and Biomedical Ethics). The course explores how the rich Islamic moral tradition engages with the complex questions triggered by the cutting-edge biomedical advancements.
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How does a world religion like Islam engage with the moral questions and challenges posed by modern biomedical advancements? Who contributes to the Islamic discourse on bioethical issues, like the beginning and end of human life, abortion, human milk banks, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), palliative care, brain death, euthanasia, pandemics like the recent COVID-19, etc.? How are diverse bioethical perspectives deliberated and how are mainstream positions developed? When do Islamic bioethical deliberations interact, agree or disagree with parallel discussions from outside the Islamic tradition and why?
Such questions are thoroughly addressed throughout this ten-week course. As outlined in the Introductory Video, the course will do justice to the complex character of these questions. Thus, rather than providing only simple answers, the focus will be on explaining well-argued insights, understanding the diversity within the Islamic discourse, and showing how disciplines from inside and outside the Islamic tradition contribute to, and shape, the field of Islamic Bioethics.
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This course is tailored for those working in the healthcare professions and for academic researchers with interest in a wide range of fields, including ethics, bioethics, religious studies, intercultural studies, Islamic studies, and social sciences.
The course will help both groups to learn the internal dynamics and methodological aspects of Islamic Bioethics and how they result in concrete moral positions. They will also learn how the proponents of each position try to defend the correctness of their standpoint and its compliance with the Quran, Sunna, the scholarly disciplines rooted in the Islamic tradition along with its compatibility with modern biomedical sciences.
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Module 1: Classical Islamic Bioethics
Module 2: Contemporary Islamic Bioethics
Module 3: The Beginning of Human Life
Module 4: Beginning of Human Life - Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
Module 5: Beginning of Human Life - Human Milk Banks
Module 6: End of Life and the Concept of Brain Death - When Does Human Life End?
Module 7: Organ Donation
Module 8: End-of-Life Care (EoLC): Life-Sustaining Treatments (LSTs) and Euthanasia
Module 9: Ethics of Pandemics and Covid-19