Islamic Ethics and Stem Cell Research
Application of Islamic Ethics to issues in the physical sciences is only in its infancy. Human stem cells are nature’s self-renewing master cells, capable of generating every one of the numerous biological tissues in the human body. Their use in contemporary medicine for repairing organs and regenerating cellular tissues holds the promise of major treatments and cures. Summary overviews of the scientific context of stem cell research is provided, and of the controversy surrounding it. The contribution of Islamic Law and ethical tradition is then reviewed, focusing on the Higher Aims of the Shariah. Islam may assist in defining the ethical boundaries at the heart of this issue, and positively contribute to medical science in this field of enquiry.