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J Med Philos. 1988 Aug;13(3):257-75.

Medical ethics and the Islamic tradition.

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Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078-0220.


After tracing the main features of the foundational ethical perspectives and their relationship to the rise of medical practice in early Islam, the paper focuses on the development of the moral concept of adab. This concept served as an important tool in defining and shaping an ethical tradition based on the integration of the Hippocratic tradition into Muslim medicine and its underlying moral values. The existence of plural therapeutic systems and their moral and theological sources are also noted and an attempt is made to show how all of these diverse modes co-existed through most of the pre-modern history of medicine among Muslims. The paper ends by outlining the impact the European colonial and cultural encounter with the World of Islam had, in creating a duality in medical practice, education and institutions, thus limiting sustained and meaningful discourse between modern medical science and the ethical values of Islam.

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