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The Ownership of Human Body: An Islamic Perspective

Keywords: Cadaver , Ownership , Islam , Iran , Transplantation

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Abstract:

Using human dead body for medical purposes is a common practice in medical schools and hospitals throughout the world. Iran, as an Islamic country is not an exception. According to the Islamic view, the body, like the soul, is a "gift" from God; therefore, human being does not possess absolute ownership on his or her body. But, the ownership of human beings on their bodies can be described as a kind of "stewardship". Accordingly, any kind of dissection or mutilation of the corpse is forbidden, even with the informed consent of the dead or his/her relatives. The exception of this principle is when such procedures are necessary for saving lives of other persons. In this article using the human dead body for medical education, research and treatment is discussed and the perspective of Iranian Shiite religious scholars in this regard is explained.

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