PALLIATIVE CARE AND HOSPICE CARE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE MAQASID SHARĪ'AH
Keywords:Maqāsid sharī'ah, hospice care, palliative care
It is crucial that Muslim healthcare professionals understand the Islamic perspective of life, health, illness, and death issues to provide a holistic care to their patients, especially those who are terminally or critically ill. Terminally ill patients would inevitably require specialized treatment such as palliative care or hospice care, depending on their conditions to improve their remaining quality of life. Palliative care is an established approach for patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses such as cancer, where the goal is comfort care while hospice involves caring to those with a terminal illness that has become advanced, progressive, and incurable. In both, the goal of care is ‘comfort care’. We examined the approach used by healthcare providers in providing palliative care and hospice care from the perspective of maqasid sharī'ah using both descriptive and analytical methods conclude with the following statements. Islam emphasizes that Muslims should aspire for good death or husnul khatimah as the desirable end of life on this temporary abode. The multidisciplinary concept of care that involves experts from various disciplines to address the physical, mental, psychosocial, and spiritual needs of patients and improve the quality of life is acceptable in Islam and regarded as commendable act in Islam as patients, viewed as individuals require assistance to face the reality of reaching the inevitable end of their lives from the caretakers, family members and healthcare team. As the terminal condition worsen and the inevitable end of life is deemed imminent, very often doctors need to make ethical decisions with consultation of patient’s surrogate decision-maker, such as withholding, withdrawing of life support, DNAR and advanced medical directives. Resolving ethical dilemmas requires understanding and application of ethical principles both contemporary and Islamic ethics of the Maqasid al-sharī'ah before sound decisions could be made.
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