Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order: Islamic Views
Performing Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order by means of withholding resuscitation procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), intubation, defibrillation, mechanical ventilation, and cardiac drugs in end-of-life care is a process of accepting natural death to take its own course. The DNR order is proposed by medical team in cases of medical futility and when death is inevitable. There are many controversial ethical challenges that arise in the management of the death and dying. One of the issues is concerning the religious and cultural background of the patient. All patients irrespective of their religious beliefs should be treated with human dignity and respect. In Islam, Muslims believe that life is sacred and must be preserved and protected. Development of modern medicine and technology enables the prolonging of one’s life which resulted in prolonged misery and suffering of the dying patient who is terminally ill with incurable disease. In this instance, the DNR order will usually be initiated by a physician. However, end-of-life issues and DNR still leave moral and ethical dilemma to physicians and next of kin. It is vital to understand the issues arising from DNR and from the Islamic perspective. There is also a dire need for recommendations from the guiding principles of Islamic jurisprudence such as the Quran, the tradition of Prophet Muhammad, and juridical opinions from past and current Muslim scholars. This paper will attempt to elaborate Islamic views on issues pertaining to DNR.
Keywords: Do Not Resuscitate, end-of-life, mercy killing, Islamic jurisprudence.