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Pediatric ethics in the Holy Quran
  1. Department of Pediatrics
  2. Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine
  3. Ankara, Turkey
  4. myur{at}

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Editor,—I read with interest Gatrad and Sheikh's recent articles.1 ,2 It is quite interesting to find some more references (presented as sura:verse) related to pediatric ethics in the Holy Quran.

On organ transplantation

“Whoever killed a human being . . .should be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind; and that whoever saved a human life should be regarded as though he had saved all mankind” (5:32). On the basis of this Quranic text, organ transplantation is encountered in many Islamic countries.

On motherhood

According to the Holy Quran, the mothers of infants born after in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer are the women who give birth, not the women who give ovum: “Their mothers are those only gave birth to them” (58:2).

On termination of pregnancy

According to the Holy Quran, if a mother's health is treated by continuation of a pregnancy, then termination of pregnancy is allowed. “None should be charged with more than one can bear. A mother should not be allowed to suffer on account of her child, nor should a father on account of his child” (2:233; see also 2:185 and 2:195).

On breast feeding

According to the Holy Quran “The mothers shall give suck to their offsprings for two complete years” (2:233). However, “If they both (mother and father) decide on weaning, by mutual consent and after due consultation, there is no blame on them” (2:233). The mother who cannot and is not able to breast feed her infant, can give her baby to a wet nurse to breast feed, after mutual consent between the father and mother: “If you support financially the wet-nurse, there is no blame on you” (2:233).

The father should protect the lactating mother from any conditions which might affect breast feeding, and Islam forces fathers to provide financial support for breast feeding mothers who are divorced: “To provide food and clothing is an obligation of the father” (2:233).