This paper addresses the following: First, it defines the term “Medicine”, its virtues and wisdom on the basis that care giving (treatment) is not the duty of every Muslim. Second, the study states that freedom of action is the foundation of care giving in the medical profession. Nonetheless, the study goes on to point out that doctors are under solemn duty to provide care, and this is governed by such principles as Islamic jurisprudence (Shari'a) and social responsibility. Third, the issue of whether or not to provide care giving is a contemporary one. This has been addressed in relation to what old jurisprudence scholars have written on this topic, namely on the one hand, the provision and monopoly of basic needs such as water and food governed by fundamental human rights and on the other, moral and social duty. Fourth, the ruling on this issue of whether to treat or abstain is based on lawmakers' stance of the legal necessity to preserve life that would, otherwise, result in a criminal act. Fifth, the study also points out the conditions under which medical care giving maybe legal and/ or illegal. Refraining from care giving is considered illegal in such instances as government hospitals, contractor establishments, areas not medically covered, and emergency cases. In contrast, refraining from care giving is legally permissible in cases where patients do not follow doctors' prescribed treatments, seek another doctor's help, the treating doctor's life is endangered, he/she is engaged with another patient, he/she is sick or cannot attend to the patient and the patient's family can obtain the services of another doctor. Finally, examples of case studies and binding judicial decisions for the doctor to provide treatment are presented.
* Accepted 22.2.2010.
"A Medical Doctor’s Abstinence from Care Giving In Islamic Jurisprudence (Shari'a) and Common Law,"
Journal Sharia and Law: Vol. 2010
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol2010/iss44/5