"IOMS" Holds International Conference to Explore Bioprinting Through Islamic Lens Featured

The Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences inaugurated the international conference "Bioprinting: Opportunities and Challenges from an Islamic Perspective," with the participation of 15 countries and more than 400 individuals from inside and outside Kuwait.  

What is bioprinting?
The President of the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences, Dr. Mohammed Al-Jarallah, said: This seminar comes within the framework of the organization's keenness to monitor and regulate the developments of bioprinting from a religious, ethical, and professional perspective in our Islamic societies.

Al-Jarallah added in his speech: Perhaps this will be the first seminar of its kind, as no legal opinions regarding bioprinting have been issued yet by reputable juristic bodies, and no legal regulations governing its use have been established so far.
He pointed out that bioprinting has entered the clinical application phase and has successfully taken its first steps on human skin tissues, outer ear cartilage, and small portions of the liver. However, complete organ printing is still in its infancy and in the research phase, affirming that scientists are currently working on printing a human heart the size of a rabbit's heart.
Al-Jarallah emphasized the importance of the seminar and the discussion raised to reach a religious opinion regarding the use of bioprinting, and to balance between the opportunities, challenges, and medical technology on one hand, and moral, religious, and legal controls on the other hand.
He explained that this technology is used for the treatment of organs, cells, and diseased tissues.

Achieving the Objective

On the other hand, the former Minister of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs, and Holy Sites in Jordan, Dr. Abdel Nasser Abu Al-Basal, emphasized that today the nation is required to have its values, legislation, and systems serve as an example for the world in regulating the movement of life. He pointed out that the wheel of scientific and technological progress, including the rapid advancements and developments driven by international medical research centres, obligates the nation to participate in this field and to prepare for the emerging circumstances by determining the regulations and legal provisions.

Abu Al-Basal explained that clarifying the legal or ethical judgment regarding the use of this technology depends on the outcome of effective specialized dialogue that this organization promotes.

Dr. Qutb Mustafa Sanu, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Jurisprudence Assembly in Jeddah, emphasized the importance of this technology and said, "It is not cloning, but rather an achievement of the principle: 'We have certainly created man in the best of stature' (Surah At-Tin: 4)." He added that anything that fulfils and achieves this objective is considered legitimate.

He further stated, "We need this innovative medicine that adheres to the ethics of the profession, as outlined in the charter developed by the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences."

On her part, Dr. Hanan Sultan, Secretary-General of the Saudi Society for Medical Jurisprudence, said: "3D bioprinting of human tissues and organs is a promising scientific nucleus and a pioneering technology that can help save lives and advance the field of medical research and treatments.

She pointed out that there are several challenges before finding the appropriate technical technology for each organ and the success of organ and tissue transplantation after printing, especially reproductive organs, in addition to several challenges from religious, ethical, social, and legal aspects.

Exacerbation of Social Gap

Dr. Nezir Ayad, Secretary-General of the Islamic Research Complex at Al-Azhar, said: The contemporary human is witnessing a tremendous leap in the sectors of medicine, health, and pharmaceuticals that has never been seen before in history.

He pointed out that bioprinting represents a revolution in the field of medicine, promising a future full of wonders and strange phenomena.

He also mentioned that Islam came in favour of humans and working to preserve oneself and one's body. However, this type of printing, considering its significance similar to many modern medical developments, whose effects do not stop at the limits of medicine and treatment alone, has religious, ethical, philosophical, social, and legal dimensions.

Ayad wondered: Does bioprinting, and prior to it, cloning, contradict the religious belief in God's exclusive role in creation, invention and management? He answered: Definitely not.

He explained that humans cannot claim to create unless they achieve two things: first, the independence of creation from nothingness, and second, the independence of management until completion and conclusion, which goes far beyond the limits of science and its means.

The Secretary General of the Islamic Research Academy at Al-Azhar pointed out that bioprinting requires significant financial investments in research and development, purchasing machinery, and training specialized technical staff. This makes it costly and prevents its availability in hospitals and medical facilities with limited resources, leading to an exacerbation of the social gap between the rich and the poor, the emergence of social class and depriving the poor of their just right to receive treatment.

He emphasized the need for the formulation of new government policies and specialized financing programs that work to enhance justice and equality, ensuring the right to a decent life and access to treatment without any form of racism or discrimination.