Medical Ethics in Egyptian Fatimid Caliphate

Document Type: Original Article



Medical ethics is one of the oldest and most important branches of applied ethics. Development of medicine and revolutions in human life as well as advancement of mental and physical health in human civilizations have led to great progress of ethical debates in this field of human sciences. Islamic civilization, as one of the dynamic and lasting human civilizations which promises Islamic spirituality in all aspects of material life, could not possibly ignore medical ethics or an ethical approach to personal and public hygiene along with  social health. In Islamic civilization, medical ethics is derived from Quran, Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali’s (PBUT) traditions. Ethics in medical profession can be classified under various branches, and its instances can be traced in different civilizations. Healthcare and hygiene comprise a vast collection of ethical topics, in which the issues of medical ethics, nursing ethics, pharmaceutical ethics and ethical issues related to medical and social work centers are considered as its subcategories. In fact, medical ethics is concerned with issues related to the physician, his relationship with the patient and his close relatives, physician’s interactions with other physicians, conditions and characteristics of the hospitals, monitoring medical centers and authorities in the field of healthcare, etc. This article seeks to study medical ethics in the Fatimid civilization which ruling Egypt from 358 to 567 A.H. In this regard, ethical issues in the area of healthcare and medical centers of the Fatimid Egypt as well as supervision over medical authorities will be taken into consideration and then, distinguished Fatimid Egypt physicians in the field of medical ethics will be discussed.