To: Francene Graham
House of Commons
London SW1P 3JA.
SUBMISSION RE: DRAFT MENTAL INCAPACITY BILL
(1) I would like on behalf of the 1.6 million British
Muslims, including 30,000 Muslim doctors and health professionals,
to present to you our clear united view against any intentional
ending of the life of any patient, whatever means or way,
direct or indirect, active or passive, by commission or
omission; but especially by depriving patients of their
basic human rights to food, fluid and life-saving treatment.
(2) We British Muslims would like in particular to submit
to you our strong opposition to the government's draft
Mental Incapacity Bill.
(3) All Muslims in Britain, Europe and all over the world
believe that life is sacred and that only God, the Creator
of all, is the Owner and Author of life. Only God Almighty
will decide about the end of the life of each one of us.
No doctor, judge, court, MP, Lord or relative can give
any legitimate ruling to end the life of any patient or
any innocent human being by any means or way.
(4) All patients and the disabled, the old and the chronically
sick are equal in the eyes of God and their life is sacred.
For Muslim patients the best death is to die naturally
without taking any step to end one's life. A patient who
ends his/her life "has played God", "challenged
(5) This is why all types of euthanasia (whether direct
or indirect, active or passive), suicide and assisted
suicide are prohibited by all the Holy Scriptures.
(6) For example, God (Allah) said in the final holy book
In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful:
"God/Allah takes the souls at the time of their death,
and those that died during their sleep...." (chapter
"And (God) is the one who gave you life, then shall
he ordain you to die, then shall he give you life again,
truly mankind is ungrateful..." (chapter 22,verse
"Do not kill yourselves, for verily Allah has been
to you most merciful." (chapter 4,verse 29).
"...take not life which God/ Allah has made sacred"
(chapter 6,verse 151).
(7) It is also inhumane to take any step of action or
omission intentionally to end the life of any patient.
The provision of food and fluid is a basic human right
and need for the sick and the healthy, for men and animals
alike. No one has the right to stop it or withdraw it
from any creature (with the intention of causing or hastening
death) but we should provide it to all until the moment
of natural death, as fixed by God Almighty. Otherwise
one is killing the patient directly (euthanasia) and causing
his/her death by starvation and dehydration.
(8) Food and fluid are not to be considered medical treatment.
It is ridiculous that healthy people who are having daily
food and fluid could be considered to be having medical
(9) Likewise, to omit a life-saving treatment
is unethical, inhumane and against good medical practice.
(10) It is in the best interests of patients
to be given all possible means to protect their lives;
care, love and counselling; family and social support;
treatment for any sub-clinical depression; the best analgesic
care; and to be allowed to die naturally, as God wanted
according to his time, and not as the doctor, relative
or court may have wanted.
(11) The making of an advance decision
with a suicidal intent should be illegal. Such a 'living
will' would be more accurately described as a "death
will". Even if the law would allow for suicidal advance
decisions, they should be rejected and certainly not regarded
as legally binding.
(12) Any court or "lasting power
of attorney" should protect the life of every patient
(mentally incapacitated or not) and prohibit any means
or procedure which will end the life of any patient (direct
or indirect, by commission or omission), especially food,
fluid, or any life-saving treatment.
(13) Many mentally incapacitated patients
do not give their consent to withdraw or withhold food
and fluid from them.
(14) Patients with or without mentally
incapacity have equal rights and equal obligations. Any
mentally incapacitated patient should have the same protection
for his/her life like any other patient, so that no exploitation
of the vulnerable can occur.
Dr A. Majid Katme (MBBCh, DPM)