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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

25.5 OTHER TECHNOLOGIES

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

25.5.1 SEX SELECTION and SEX CHANGE, al tahakkum fi al jins

Sex preference is natural. Gender selection is by Allah (shura: 49) and no human efforts will contradict Allah’s will. Human efforts can only succeed if Allah wills so. Efforts to get an offspring of a particular gender are in general permissible because the dua that prophets made are considered part of the effort. Discussion centers on the methods used because some are permitted while others are prohibited. Natural methods (selecting days of copulation before and after ovulation & changing upper vaginal chemistry artificially) are not effective.  Rulings methods are still being discussed such as Separation of male and female sperms by centrifuging and in vitro insemination, gender pre-selection and implanting only zygotes of desired gender in in vitro fertilization, sex change by genetic engineering, exposure of fetuses to specific hormones, and sex change operations for hermaphrodites. Some jurists consider sex selection permissible for the couple but are prohibited when they are part of community or national policy. There are long-term consequences that must be considered. Severe gender imbalance will threaten marriage and lead to family breakdown. Eventually the purpose of the law to preserve progeny, hifdh al nasl, cannot be fulfilled.

 

25.5.2 GENETIC TESTING

Genetic testing is used for disease diagnosis, pre natal diagnosis, genetic screening, criminal investigations, and settling paternity issues.

 

25.5.3 GENETIC COUNSELLING

Counseling is carried out before and after genetic testing. The objective of counseling before testing is to provide information about the genetic disorders and the risks of disease to individuals and families so that they may make informed decisions. It also provides information about the genetic test (reliability, validity, and method of testing). Pre marital counseling is recommended for close relatives. Genetic testing can be carried only if there is informed consent of competent adults. Genetic data is confidential and canot be disclosed except following guidelines. Genetic information can be misused to stigmatize individuals, families and entire ethnic groups. Genetic data of an individual discloses genetic information about other members of the family. Genetic data should not be released to third parties without agreement of the subject tested. Genetic data can be misused for discrimination in employment and insurance.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004