The ruling for forcing a patient to...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

The ruling for forcing a patient to receive treatment


t no. 441 for the year 2006 which includes the following:
My mother was suffering from cancer. We — her children — paid for her surgery. After the surgery the doctors decided that she must take chemotherapy to stop the cancer or prevent it from metastizing. She took six sessions but refused to continue the treatment or any hospital stays. Whenever we mentioned this issue, she would cry and this would affect her psychological state. When she learned that she is free to choose whether to continue the treatment, her psychological state improved and she started to go out. She is now leading a happy life to a certain extent, and goes out to pray in the mosque and to other places. Are her children considered blameworthy or negligent?


Your mother is of sound mind and, based on this, is responsible for herself and bears the consequences of her decisions. It is impermissible to force anything upon her even if it is the treatment suggested by her doctors as there are various types of treatments available.

A person is not composed of merely a physical body only but also of emotions, and the soul and mind. Thereby, it is invalid to treat her as a machine and you must take into consideration all the above mentioned elements. The doctors themselves cannot dare to perform the surgery except with her consent. If this is so, then how can you — her children — force her into something that requires her consent? You must do your best to advise her and explain the consequences of halting her treatment in the manner you deem best.
Allah the Almighty knows best.


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