In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
A Do Not Resuscitate or DNR order is a written order from a doctor that resuscitation should not be attempted if a person suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest. Such an order may be instituted by the patient or his immediate relatives.
DNR is considered to be a form of medical treatment and the majority of scholars agree that medical treatment is not something which is obligatory but something which is mustuhub (desirable). (Nizamul Fatawa p.350 v.1)
It is stated in Fatawa Hindiyyah that there are three means used for removing harms:
- Those that remove harm for certain such as drinking water to quench thirst and eating food to remove hunger. In this category abstaining from eating and drinking is not considered as putting trust in Allah, rather it is unlawful to refrain from using these means.
- Those means where it is presumed ones health will be restored such as medical treatment. In this category, using medication is not against putting trust in Allah and abstaining from it is not a sin.
- Those means which may cure like amulets, taweez. In this category complete reliance in Allah is only achieved by abstaining from using them. (p.355 v.5)
The conclusion we can come to is that in a situation where further treatment is futile then to pass a DNR order over the patient with the consent of the patient or his immediate relatives is permissible. Also, it will be permissible for the patient to make a will that gives permission to withdraw treatment in such situations.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham