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The 11th Annual CIR Conference on Islamic Bioethic and Shari'ah Law

The Critical Islamic Reflections (CIR) Committee at Yale invites scholars and professionals from all fields to submit proposals for our 11th annual conference, "Islamic Bioethics and Law: The Role of Traditional Scholarship in Modern Times." This interdisciplinary forum will explore the role of the Islamic tradition in the resolution of modern day bioethical dilemmas while also investigating the methodologies used by ethicists, healthcare practitioners, policy makers, and religious scholars to address ethical dilemmas pertaining to public health, biomedicine, and healthcare in general.

Description Date
Abstract Submission Deadline: 11th November, 2011
Final Paper Submission Deadline: 1st March, 2012
11th Annual Critical Islamic Reflections Conference - Yale University: 14th April, 2012

The purpose of this conference is to explore the underlying principles that guide bioethical decision-making within the context of greater Islamic ethical thought and jurisprudence. Examples of areas of ethical inquiry include but are not limited to:

  • Historically, and currently, how do Islamic religious traditions influence healthcare policy decisions amongst Muslim populations?
  • How are the competing authorities (biomedical, legal, religious, etc.) negotiated when seeking solutions to bioethical dilemmas? How should they be negotiated?
  • How do public health ethics and duty to the public good inform bioethically related legal rulings (fatawa)? For example, are there instances when vaccinations, birth control, infectious disease precautions become religiously obligatory?
  • How should the legal device of public interest (maslaha) be invoked or constrained in Islamic bioethical discourse? Is consulting a "secular" or technical expert necessary to invoke public interest (maslaha) as part of a ruling?
  • What are the obligations of Muslims to seek medical treatment?
  • How do Islamic ethics inform the clinical encounter?
  • What are the legal rights and responsibilities of the severely mentally ill? According to Islamic law (shari'ah), when are people not culpable for unethical or criminal behavior?
Participation Guidelines:
Please submit up to a 500-word abstract and curriculum vitae at


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