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Assignment: Practicum – Journal Entry

Reflect on a patient who presented with a breast condition during your Practicum Experience. Describe the patient’s personal and medical history, drug therapy and treatments, and follow-up care. Then, explain your patient education strategies for patients with or at risk of breast conditions. Include a description of how you might teach patients to perform breast self-examinations. If you did not have an opportunity to evaluate a patient with this background during the last six weeks, you may select a related case study from a reputable source or reflect on previous clinical experiences

The saving of a life is considered one of the highest merits and imperatives in Islam

(Zahedi et al. 2007). Doctors must do everything they can to prevent a premature death.

However, this does not come at all costs; when death is inevitable, and clinically evaluated

treatment is obviously futile, it ceases to be mandatory (Khan 2002). Islam recognises that

there are times in which human beings need to recognise their own limits and let nature

take its course (Al-Qur’an 39:42); resorting to futile treatment in order to put off death is

not acceptable in Islam (Zahedi et al. 2007). Muslim jurists agree that it is possible for a

collective decision to be reached between the attending doctor, patient and family members

128 J Relig Health (2016) 55:119–134

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to refuse medical interventions and discontinue life-sustaining treatments if such proce-

dures will in no way improve the condition or quality of life, on the basis of informed

consent (Bülow et al. 2008; Sachedina 2005; Zahedi et al. 2007). However, if invasive

treatment has been intensified to save a patient’s life, Muslim jurists have ruled that life-

saving equipment cannot be switched off unless the doctor is certain about the inevitability

of death (Sachedina 2005).

Islam maintains the position that patients should not be denied their basic human rights

of nutrition and hydration even at the end of life. This is due to the fact that withdrawal of

such needs would hasten death, which is forbidden in Islam (Bülow et al. 2008; Gatrad and

Sheikh 2001; Khan 2002). However, administering analgesia to lessen suffering in end-of-

life care is permitted even if in the process, death is hastened, based on the Islamic teaching

that ‘‘actions are to be judged by their intentions’’ (Bülow et al. 2008; Gatrad and Sheikh

2001; Sachedina 2005; Zahedi et al. 2007). It follows that the intended purpose of palli-

ative sedation is not to facilitate death, but rather to save a patient from severe discomfort,

which renders it ethically legitimate from the Islamic viewpoint.

In Islam, pain is believed to be a form of trial from God to test a Muslim’s faith and

spiritual standing (Al-Qur’an 2:153–7). Muslims should thus endure pain with patience a

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