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Islamic Medical Ethics Amidst Developing Biotechnologies

Dr. Musa Mohd. Nordin FRCP, FAMM
Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist
Damansara Specialist Hospital


Heralded by the revelation of the double helical structure of the DNA molecule in 1953, the 21st century is aptly designated the biotechnology century. The 20th century of physics, which saw the transformation of silicon into computing magic, was embraced with enthusiasm by virtually every household. However, unlike her predecessor, the same cannot be said about the advancements in biomedicine.

These revolutionary procedures in biotechnology has probed the outermost boundaries of what is scientifically possible and acceptable. Micro manipulation at the very earliest stages of human development, at the level of the embryo, single cell and genetic structure is undoubtedly a very delicate and sensitive issue with potentially explosive ethical, social, medico-legal and religious ramifications. Hence, the turbulent and not uncommonly hostile controversies that has since evolved.

Some of the issues in biotechnology which are debated contentiously and extensively across all segments of human society, include assisted reproductive technologies, human reproductive cloning, therapeutic cloning, embryo research, genetic engineering, euthanasia, organ transplantation, abortion and contraception.

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