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Minerva Medicolegale 2006 March;126(1):1-23


language: Italian

Informed consent and Islamic tradition. A multicultural analysis in a medicolegal perspective

Iorio M. 1, Bagatin M. 2

1 Dipartimento di Anatomia Farmacologia e Medicina Legale Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino 2 Dipartimento di Orientalistica Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino


It would be a grave error to sum up the confrontation among multicultural forces by stating that the conflict between the Arab world and the West in the late 20th century has abandoned the arena of dialogue to pursue terrorist stratagems aimed at demolishing Western political, economic, scientific and technological power. History permits us to discern prejudice from truth and enables us to demonstrate that the dialogue between East and West can and must be resumed. Alarmed reaction to the means (attacks) and to the ends (reversal of history) of escalating contention may be attenuated by overcoming both the dogma of panislamism and the utilitarianism characteristic of modern European and American economies. A society bound by religious prescriptions will remain backward if not incompatible with contemporary social reality owing to a lack of rationalism (Max Weber, Maxime Rodinson). Muslim immigrants living in a secularized society will need to adapt to their new environment. Health care is the keystone of well being. This study is the first step in a process the authors hope will become a concrete outcome of a meeting among equal partners.
For the first time in history, modern medicine is able to cure the sick. More and more, however, the physician-patient relationship is becoming overclouded by suspicion, delusion and anger. One reason for this lies with a complete lack of or a serious delay in appropriate training in relational and communication skills, leaving physicians unprepared to face the new situation and unable to adapt to it. Hence, our study started from the concept of informed consent in relation to history, culture, religion and medicine.

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