Q462 :According to Islam, the bodies of dead people must be buried. Doctors, however, prefer to take the dead bodies to the anatomy department in a medical college where students can learn about the various parts of the body. Please comment.

A462 : A postmortem is permissible if it is conducted for the right purpose. We can say that determining the cause of death, either when a crime is suspected or to enable medical students and their teachers to learn about the effects of certain diseases, is a legitimate purpose to carry out a postmortem. Many people are under the impression that postmortems are forbidden in Islam. It is certainly forbidden to show disrespect or to assault the dead body of any person. Islam forbids the disfigurement of enemy soldiers in battle. It would certainly not allow the cutting up of dead bodies for idle play. A legitimate purpose, however, is different. If a medical purpose is not legitimate, what is?

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )