Ethical issues in human reproduction: Islamic perspectives

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2013 Nov;29(11):949-52. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2013.825714. Epub 2013 Sep 4.


Sexual and reproductive rights of women are essential components of human rights. They should never be transferred, renounced or denied for any reason based on race, religion, origin, political opinion or economic conditions. Women have the right to the highest attainable standard of health care for all aspects of their reproductive and sexual health (RSH). The principle of autonomy emphasizes the important role of women in the decision-making. Choices of women in reproduction, after providing evidence based information, should be respected. Risks, benefits and alternatives should be clearly explained before they make their free informed consent. Justice requires that all be treated with equal standard and have equal access to their health needs without discrimination or coercion. When resources are limited there is tension between the principle of justice and utility. Islamic perspectives of bioethics are influenced by primary Sharia namely the Holy Quran, authenticated traditions and saying of the Profit Mohamed (PBUH), Igmaa and Kias (analogy). All the contemporary ethical principles are emphasized in Islamic Shariaa, thus these principles should be observed when providing reproductive and sexual health services for Muslim families or communities. The Family is the basic unit in Islam. Safe motherhood, family planning, and quality reproductive and sexual health information and services and assisted reproductive technology are all encouraged within the frame of marriage. While the Shiaa sect permits egg donation, and surrogacy the Sunni sect forbids a third party contribution to reproduction. Harmful practices in RSH as FGM, child marriage and adolescent pregnancy are prohibited in Islam. Conscientious objection to treatment should not refrain the physician from appropriate referral.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Human Rights*
  • Humans
  • Islam*
  • Male
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Reproductive Health Services / ethics
  • Reproductive Health* / ethics
  • Reproductive Medicine / ethics
  • Reproductive Medicine / methods*
  • Reproductive Techniques / adverse effects
  • Reproductive Techniques / ethics
  • Sexual Behavior / ethics
  • Women's Health Services / ethics
  • Women's Rights / ethics