Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The beginning of bioethics in Egypt is the beginning of recorded history. Egypt passed by different eras, Pharaonic, Coptic, and Islamic and in each bioethics was influenced by the prevailing religion. Currently, where Islam is the religion of the vast majority, bioethics guidelines are driven from its teachings. The number of bioethics committees has rapidly grown. The first Biomedical Research Committee was established at Al-Azhar University, an Islamic one, and the first National Committee was established in the year 1996. Around the year 2002, many bioethics committees were established in nearly all 17 Universities in the country and a network was established and coordination strengthened but, till now, although there are some attempts, there are no approved national guidelines. After the revolutionary events of 25 January 2010, the country is polarized in two positions, the majority are Islamists and they are obeying the teaching of Islam, which in its ideal level is consistent with ethical and moral values, while the minority is more liberal and views human rights as the central issue that should not be bounded by constraints. This could be a challenge, as the Islamists are not unified and there are a growing number of Conservative Islamists which might harm efforts to promote bioethics. The debate on ethical issues, so far, is driven from Islamic teachings, which a way of life as it contains instructions on all issues that need ethical reflection. If the theologians are provided with the medical facts, they usually come with ethical guidelines concerning the issue. Looking to the future, bioethics activists in Egypt should work hard to promote the discipline and to work on developing National Guidelines and to network, not only among themselves, but also with different stakeholders, mainly religious leaders, legislators, and health policy makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Global Bioethics
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789400725126
ISBN (Print)9789400725119
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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