Removing Life-Support Machines from a Brain Dead Person
Fatwa No: 414286


Can we pull the plug on a human being if he/she is brain dead living in a vegetative life style ?
Jazakum Allah Khair


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Islamic Fiqh Council decided the permissibility of switching off the life-support systems of a patient whenever it becomes clear through confirmed medical examinations conducted by specialists that such a person is brain dead.

The Council’s relevant resolution reads: “In the case of a patient whose body has been hooked up to life support systems, it is permissible to withhold and withdraw life support if all his brain functions have ceased completely and a three-member committee of experienced specialized doctors determined that this cessation of function is irreversible, even if the heart and breathing are still working mechanically with the help of the life-support equipment.” [End of Quote]

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Iftaa’ as well as other entities have issued Fataawa to the same effect.

Allah Knows best.

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