The notion of privacy in Islamic medical ethics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Present-day Muslim medical ethicists, like medieval Muslim jurists, evince great concern for the notion of privacy and confidentiality. This is not a unique issue of the medical profession but appears constantly in the relations between patient and physician or patient and other health care providers (such as nurses, physiotherapists or technicians,). This paper compares contemporary Islamic ethical debates on privacy with classical legal Islamic texts on the same subject and traces whether the Islamic notions are compatible with contemporary notions of privacy in the Western world. It starts with a short survey of some definitions for privacy from Western literature and describes the notions of privacy in classical fiqh, then in contemporary Islamic medical ethics. It attempts to compare Islamic (past and present) notions with “Western”/ contemporary perceptions of privacy, offering some critical comments in this regard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-482
Number of pages18
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Yozmot Heiliger Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Autonomy
  • Huqūq
  • Khalwa
  • Privacy
  • UN international declaration on human rights
  • ‘Awra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The notion of privacy in Islamic medical ethics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this