Autopsy in Islam: Considerations for Deceased Muslims and Their Families Currently and in the Future

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Abstract

Religious beliefs and cultures have influenced treatment of dead bodies in different ways by nations throughout history, and attitudes toward the deceased individuals have changed across time and so has the role and mechanism of autopsy. Islam has been a part of Europe for a long time; therefore, we would like to emphasize the important issues for Muslims and their families regarding death, autopsy, and funeral and to describe international perspectives of Muslim autopsies. Muslims have expressed their views on autopsy publically and internationally, and there have been claims of violation of the deceased, delays in burial, and nonconsideration of their religious beliefs. In this article, we aim to increase awareness and understanding of doctors about the religious and ethical issues important to Muslims and their families, so that appropriate considerations may be made where possible with regard to respectful treatment of deceased loved ones to decrease tensions presently being faced. Forensic medicine doctors could assist by undertaking autopsy without delay, in a private room by those of the same sex, and covering parts of the body not being worked on at that time.

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