What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: one of my family members is in an extremely critical condition on a life support machine. The doctor has said that there’s not even a single percent chance of recovery. Is it appropriate to turn off the life support machine because he cannot recover?

Questioner: Shamim from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

If a patient is living on a life support machine and it is known that turning it off will kill him, then it is impermissible to turn it off. A doctor’s knowledge is speculative, and no life can be wasted due to mere speculation. We do not know when the patient will be cured. Many a patient who were told by doctors that they cannot recover, were cured by Allah’s ﷻ mercy. Many of those who were drowned in the sea of hopelessness are now fit and healthy. Therefore, turning off the life support machine due to hopelessness that the person will not recover, is akin to killing the person. Allah ﷻ warns regarding the killing of a Muslim:

وَمَنۡ یَّقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَآؤُہٗ جَہَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِیۡہَا وَغَضِبَ اللہُ عَلَیۡہِ وَلَعَنَہٗ وَاَعَدَّ لَہٗ عَذَابًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿﴾۹۳

Translation: “If anyone kills a believer deliberately, the punishment for him is Hell, and there he will remain: Allah is angry with him, and rejects him, and has prepared a tremendous torment for him.”

Therefore, never permit turning off the machine on the doctor’s saying and bear the consequence of this admonishment.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0751] Is it permissible to turn off the life support machine for someone critically ill?

Also see:

[Q-ID0750] What steps should we take when seeing someone die in front of us?

[Q-ID0165] Witnessing a fellow Muslim dying, what is the best thing we can do for them?

[Q-ID0047] What happens to the deceased body in the grave?

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