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Approaching Modern Technology Challenges Through The Traditions of Ibn Sina (980-1036)

IBN Sina Memorial Lecture at the 8th International & 39th Annual Convention Of Islamic Medical Association of North America.
Beijing, China
July 25, 2006 - July 28, 2006.

Faroque Ahmed Khan, M.B., M.A.C.P.
Professor of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Chairman Board of Trustees, Islamic Center of Long Island, New York
Member Board of Trustees Islamic Medical Association of North America
Member Majlis-Shura of Islamic society of North America.
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It is, indeed, a great honor for me to give this presentation in the beautiful settings of Beijing, China.

This presentation commemorates the remarkable contributions and achievements of Abu Ali al Husin Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina. Born in 980 near Bukhara in Uzbekistan, Ibn Sina was the foremost medical scholar, philosopher, and educator in the world at the beginning of the second millenium, a thousand years ago.

I have structured this talk as a conversation with Ibn Sina. Let us assume Ibn Sina has returned from "Barzakh" and is amongst us in Beijing, how might he address the issues regarding the usage, limitations and advantages created by the rapid proliferation of modern technology. I will present some of my own personal observations related to my work as an Intensivist-Pulmonologist and more recently as a ‘spokesperson’ for the Islamic Center of Long Island in New York. The three case studies I will present deal with-1)Intensive care monitoring devices such as Swanz Ganz Catheter-do they really make a difference 2)The case of Terri Schiavo in USA brought into sharp focus the challenge of caring for the hopelessly ill, she ‘died’ from dehydration and starvation-is that permissible? and 3)Grandma Martha’s dilemma-can she carry the fertilized ovum of her daughter Joanne, and Joanne’s husband Robert, Joanne was born without a uterus.

Before we do that, let’s refresh our collective memory regarding Ibn Sina and the times he lived in.....

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