1.0 VALUES, COMPETENCE, AND RESPONSIBILITY
The physician-patient is based on brotherhood. The physician must maintain the highest standards of justice. He should
also follow the following guidelines from the sunnat: good intentions, avoiding doubtful things, leaving alone matters that
do not concern him, loving for others, causing no harm, giving sincere advice, avoiding the prohibited, doing the enjoined
acts, , renouncing greed, avoiding sterile arguments, respect for life, basing decisions and actions on evidence, following
the dictates of conscience, righteous acts, quality work, guarding the tongue, avoiding anger and rage, respecting transgressing
Allah’s limits, consciousness of Allah in all circumstances, performing good acts to wipe out bad ones, treating people
with the best of manners, restraint and modesty, maintaining objectivity, seeking help from Allah, and avoiding oppression
or transgression against others. The physician should be professionally competent (itiqan & ihsaan), balanced (tawazun),
have responsibility (amanat) and accountability (muhasabat). He must work for the benefit of the patients and
the community (maslahat).
2.0 MEDICAL DECISIONS
No medical procedures can be carried out without informed consent of the patient except in cases of legal incompetence.
The patient has the purest intentions in decisions in the best interests of his or her life. Others may have bias their decision-making.
The patient must be free and capable of giving informed consent. Informed consent requires disclosure by the physician, understanding
by the patient, voluntariness of the decision, legal competence of the patient, recommendation of the physician on the best
course of action, decision by the patient, and authorization by the patient to carry out the procedures. The patient is free
to male decisions regarding choice of physicians and choice of treatments. Consent can be by proxy in the form of the patient
delegating decision making or by means of a living will.
Valid consent must be voluntary, informed, and by a person with capacity to consent. It involves explaining the procedure
contemplated, making sure the patient understands, and offering the patient a choice. Consent is limited to what was explained
to the patient except in an emergency. Refusal to consent must be an informed refusal (patient understands what he is doing).
Refusal to consent by a competent adult even if irrational is conclusive and treatment can only be given by permission of
the court. Doubts about consent are resolved in favor of preserving life. Spouses and family members do not have an automatic
right to consent. A spouse cannot overrule the patient’s choice. Advance directives, proxy informed consent by the family
are made for the unconscious terminal patient on withholding or withdrawal of treatment. Physician assisted suicide, active
euthanasia, and voluntary euthanasia are illegal. A do not resuscitate order (DNR) by a physician could create legal complications.
The living will has the following advantages: (a) reassuring the patient that terminal care will be carried out as he or she
desires (b) providing guidance and legal protection and thus relieving the physicians of the burden of decision making and
legal liabilities (c) relieving the family of the mental stress involved in making decisions about terminal care. The disadvantage
of a living will is that it may not anticipate all developments of the future thus limiting the options available to the physicians
and the family. The device of the power of attorney can be used instead of the living will or advance directive. Decision
by a proxy can work in two ways: (a) decide what the patient would have decided if able (b) decide in the best interests of
the patient. Informed consent is still required for physicians in special practices such as a ship’s doctor, prison
doctor, doctors in armed forces. Police surgeons may have to carry out examinations on suspects without informed consent.