The 'four principles of bioethics' as found in 13th century Muslim scholar Mawlana's teachings
1 Faculty of Medicine, Department Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Harran University, 63300 Sanliurfa, Turkey
2 Faculty of Theology, Department of History of Sufism, Harran University, 63300 Sanliurfa, Turkey
BMC Medical Ethics 2002, 3:4 doi:10.1186/1472-6939-3-4Published: 8 October 2002
There have been different ethical approaches to the issues in the history of philosophy. Two American philosophers Beachump and Childress formulated some ethical principles namely 'respect to autonomy', 'justice', 'beneficence' and 'non-maleficence'. These 'Four Principles' were presented by the authors as universal and applicable to any culture and society. Mawlana, a great figure in Sufi tradition, had written many books which not only guide people how to worship God to be close to Him, but also advise people how to lead a good life to enrich their personality, as well as to create a harmonious society and a peaceful world.
In this study we examined the major works of Mawlana to find out which of these 'Four Principles of Bioethics' exist in Mawlana's ethical understanding.
We have found in our study that all these principles exist in Mawlana's writings and philosophy in one form or another.
We have concluded that, further to Beachump and Childress' claim that these principles are universal and applicable to any culture and society, these principles have always existed in different moral traditions in different ways, of which Mawlana's teaching might be presented as a good example.