3 years ago

Hymenoplasty and Muslim Patients: Islamic Ethico-Legal Perspectives

Hymenoplasty, commonly called “revirginization,” is a controversial procedure that pushes the scope of medical practice to satisfy cultural and/or religious “needs.” Aim To outline the sociocultural contexts underlying patient requests for hymenoplasty and present Islamic juridical views on the moral status of hymenoplasty for Muslim patients. Methods Narrative review of the extant bioethics literature and leading Islamic ethico-legal verdicts. Outcomes We identified “Western” and Islamic bioethical debates on hymenoplasty and the critical concepts that underpin ethical justifications for and against the procedure. Results From a Western-ethics perspective, the life-saving potential of the procedure is weighed against the role of the surgeon in directly assisting in a deception and in indirectly promoting cultural practices of sexual inequality. From an Islamic bioethical vantage point, jurists offer two opinions. The first is that the surgery is always impermissible. The second is that although the surgery is generally impermissible, it can become licit when the risks of not having postcoital bleeding harm are sufficiently great. Clinical Implications Patient requests for hymenoplasty should be approached by surgeons with a willingness to understand patients' social contexts and reasons for pursuing the procedure and are ethically justified by leading Islamic jurists in particular circumstances. Strengths and Limitations This article presents emic and etic perspectives on hymenoplasty in Muslim patients, although our review of the Islamic bioethical stances might have missed some juridical opinions and important considerations. Further, Muslims, even devout ones, might not be beholden to Islamic juridical views on medical procedures and thus physicians should not make assumptions about the rationale for, and ethical views of, patients seeking hymenoplasty. Conclusion This article provides critical insight into how Muslim patients, and Islamic jurists, evaluate the moral contexts of hymenoplasty. Bawany MH, Padela AI. Hymenoplasty and Muslim Patients: Islamic Ethico-Legal Perspectives. J Sex Med 2017;14:1003–1010.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1743609517312924

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