Consent for Urgent Surgeries

In the Name of Allāh,

the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

Resolution No. 172 (10/18) Consent for Urgent Surgeries

The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, holding its 18th session in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on 24–29 Jumādā al-Ākhirah 1428h (9–14 July 2007),

Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concern- ing the cases in which obtaining consent becomes invalid for urgent surgical interventions,

Having listened to the in-depth discussions on the subject,


First: In emergency cases, medical intervention is permissible without ob- taining consent from the patient or his caretaker in the following cases:

  1. When the admitted patient is completely unconscious or in a situation where it is complicated to obtain permission before undertaking the
  2. When the patient is admitted in a dangerous, life-threatening situation, surgical intervention must be performed immediately without waiting for permission.
  3. When the patient has no accompanying relative, who has the right to grant permission and there is no time to contact his relatives.

Second: Medical intervention in the previous cases should satisfy the fol- lowing conditions:

  1. The treatment should be acknowledged and authorized by the relevant medical authorities.
  2. The treatment should be done by a specialized physician within a group of three physicians to undertake diagnosis, prescribe appropriate treat- ment and sign a joint report on the case.
  3. The benefits expected from the treatment should outweigh the harm that could result from it, along with keenness to minimize the risks as much

as possible.

  1. When the patient recovers, the physician should explain to him all the case details.
  2. Treatment should be free of charge, yet if it has to be paid for, an inde- pendent party should determine the payable amount.

Third: Postponement of issuing a resolution on the following cases to a fol- lowing session of the Academy.

  1. When the patient refuses to undergo an urgent operation such as inflam- matory appendix operations.
  2. A fetus whose neck is encircled by the umbilical cord and no permission is given for undertaking a cesarean section to save his life.
  3. A sick child who is in need of medical intervention such as appendix sur- gery, kidney dialysis, or blood transfer, and his guardian refuses

Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing.

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