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Islamic Bioethics (IMSE Project)

The Islamic Medical and Scientific Ethics (IMSE) Project is a collaborative effort of Georgetown Libraries to produce a comprehensive collection of resources pertaining to Islamic perspectives in the broad field of bioethics.


These are just a few of the over 300 books in the IMSE collection. Books newly added to the collection will be featured here, so check back often.

Selected Islamic Bioethics Resources


Islamic Bioethics Project -  The Islamic Bioethics Project (IBP) at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar aims to serve as a general guide for research in the interdisciplinary field of Islamic bioethics. IBP provides information on related resources, institutions, events, links, and news of interest to scholars and researchers in the field of bioethics and also to non-specialists who want to learn more about the interface between Islam and bioethics.

Initiative on Islam and Medicine -  The Initiative seeks to improve the health of American Muslims by assessing how Muslim patients' health behaviors and experiences are shaped by Islam, and to provide Muslim patients, healthcare practitioners, chaplains, and Imams with the intellectual resources to engage with modern medicine faithfully. The Initiative will demarcate the field of applied bioethics by describing the discursive and methodological gaps in Islamic ethico-legal judgements (fatawa and qararat) and work together with Islamic authorities to set out theologically-rooted normative goals for contemporary biomedicine. 

Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences - The mission of the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences (IOMS) is to revive Islamic values and commitment to ethical conduct in the field of medical services by providing health professionals with jurisprudent conclusions based on Islamic Sharia concerning medical innovations and scientific research.

Center for Biomedical Ethics and Culture - The Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture (CBEC), SIUT was inaugurated on October 8, 2004 in Karachi, and remains the only such centre in Pakistan to date. CBEC was established recognizing the need for ethics related education and research in Pakistan that are relevant and responsive to local cultural and social realities, and the absence of any institution in the country dedicated to this task at a national level.

Federation of Islamic Medical Associations - The goal of the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) is to foster the unity and welfare of Muslim Medical professionals worldwide, to promote the understanding and application of Islamic principles in the field of medicine, and to establish Islamic medical activities including health services, education and research through cooperation among member organizations.

Islamic Medical Association of North America - The mission of IMANA is to provide a forum and resource for Muslim physicians and other health care professionals, to promote a greater awareness of Islamic medical ethics and values among Muslims and the community-at-large, to provide humanitarian and medical relief, and to be an advocate in health care policy.


16th Century Ottoman Written Consent Document

16th Century Ottoman Written Consent Document

The IMSE project identifies both classic and contemporary resources. This early version of informed consent is one classic document added to the collection.

The image above is of a written consent document  from the Ottoman era dated 1539. It is thought to be the first written consent in medical history. The original document is from Gaziantep, Turkey, formerly know as Aintab, Ottoman Empire. The English translation follows:

"The reason for this report to be written is: The Kimya's son Mahli, resident of Sehrekustu district, came with Dr. Nazar's son Budak to the shariah court and Mahli stated that 'My son Ibrahim has stones in his inguinum. This doctor surgically excises the stones. We agreed on four gold pieces and paid one. He is discharged from other liabilities, in the name of God. In case of God's divine decree and my son's death during his incision and excision, we will not sue him.' "

The image and text are from: Selek, Salih. A written consent five centuries ago. Journal of Medical Ethics. 2010 October; 36(10): 639. doi:10.1136/jme.2010.037713

Foundational Documents from the IMSE Collection

Levey, Martin
Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1967. 100 p.
Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series; Vol. 57, Pt. 3
2.1; 1.2; 2.2; 4.1.2 

Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences [IOMS]
Islamic Code of Medical Ethics
Sulaibekhat, Kuwait 1981 January: 6 p. 
6; 2.1; 1.2 

Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences [CIOMS]
Health Policy, Ethics  and Human Values: an Islamic Perspective: Reflections on the Cairo Seminar

Geneva, Switzerland: CIOMS, 1989. 44 p.
Seminar held 24-25 November 1988 in Cairo, Egypt. Publisher's address: CIOMS, c/o World Health Organization, Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland 
9.1; 1.2; 4.1.2; 21.1

International Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences [IOMS]
International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects: An Islamic Perspective
Geneva: Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) [and] Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences (IOMS), 2004. 71 p. [Online]. Accessed: 2011 June 24
6; 18.2; 1.2; 18.5.1; 21.1

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