The use of advance medical directives in the Western countries is discussed as the possibility to resolve many ethical and legal questions in relation to incurable patients, and the practice is explained from the point of respect for the patients’ autonomy and their dignity.
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However, this issue is impossible to be discussed only from one perspective. If the idea of advance medical directives is rather typical for the Western countries, the readiness of the Muslim countries to use the practice is rather questionable.
Hamdan Al-Jahdali and the group of researchers state that the concept of advance medical directives can be translated to the Muslim society, but it is impossible to agree with the statement completely because this perspective is controversial, and there are many cultural and religious barriers which are associated with the ethical aspects of the question.
It is necessary to respond to many traditional visions of the Muslim understanding of the death concept to use the Western concept of advance medical directives in these countries.
On the one hand, having the possibility to provide the advance directives, the incapacitated patients manipulate the right to have the definite autonomy and control their life. On the other hand, Muslims can act against the will of God in this situation. It is the traditional vision of the case which is the main barrier to admit the Westerners’ practice.
The situation is complicated with the fact that according to the religious beliefs, it is impossible to reject the necessary treatment and it is impossible to make the decisions about euthanasia or suicide. As a result, there are many controversies which are associated with the ethical aspect of using advance medical directives.
The issue of advance directives depends on many religious questions which can be discussed from different perspectives separately, but their combination in relation to the problem of advance directives provides the next barrier because of the challenges to find the single appropriate decision.
Hamdan Al-Jahdali and the other researchers present their interpretation of different statements connected with the issue which are provided in the Quran. The problem is in the fact that many Muslims do not see the whole picture and cannot make the ethically and religiously right decision.
That is why, to overcome the first barrier, it is necessary to provide the explanation that the usage of advance directives is not connected with supporting possible suicides and medically approved murders.
As a result, the second barrier can be overcome accentuating the clear statements supported by the quotations from the Quran that the choice of treatment and the abstinence from seeking therapy adopted in the Muslim society have many common features in their nature with the concept of advance directives.