Adapting the principles of biomedical ethics to Islamic principles and values in the context of public health policy

Forouzan Akrami, Abbas Karimi, Mahmoud Abbasi, Akbar Shahrivari


Public health ethics is a subfield of bioethics that focuses on population health. This study aims to conform the principles of biomedical ethics to Islamic values in the context of public health. It culturally helps to optimize health care delivery. The approach is based on the method of immanent critique. The principle of the common good in Islam has a rational justification to draw public interests and ward off harms. The rule of no harm, with an emphasis on the preferability of preventing harm to increase benefits, is consistent with the principle of utility, intending to produce a maximum balance of benefit over harm in the context of public health. Thus, on the one hand, the government is obliged to prevent harm and improve public benefits and, on the other hand, as a steward of health and with reference to the article limitation of the ownership dominance, it has the right to protect public health with the least justifiable harm. Islam attention to human dignity, individual justice and good will in the rule of goodness implies that Islam, beyond distributive justice, knows that human flourishing and the cultivation of moral virtues are a requisite for the realization of social justice. The present study discusses about the adjustment of the principles of PHE to the principles of the Islamic jurisprudence and, at the same time, it explains why the optimal PH in Muslim societies requires research in order to define accurate indicators of benefit and harm based on the teachings of revelation and reason.


public health, ethics, common good, utility, justice, Islam

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