Hudud law: Not doc’s job


(The Sun) – This would certainly be against medical ethics and medical practice

The Kelantan state govern­ment’s plan to use surgeons to amputate limbs of criminals under hudud law, has drawn fire from the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

“This would certainly be against medical ethics and medical practice,” said MMA president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan, who expressed shock over the plan.

“The aim of the medical profession has always been to care, treat and cure … not take lives of people or amputate limbs of criminals under hudud law,” he added.

He was commenting on a statement by Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah that the traditional chopping off of limbs of criminals as provided under hudud law, be conducted by a surgeon instead.

Dr Tharmaseelan stressed that even now, doctors need to obtain the consent from their patients before conducting amputation, whether or not they are criminals.

“And even if there are doctors who are coerced into performing amputations under hudud law, they should realise that MMA will certainly make an official complaint to the Malaysian Medical Council against that doctor and the ones ordering such an inhuman act,” he added.

Dr Tharmaseelan said this may lead to the doctor concerned being deregistered from the medical rolls by the MMC, and the MMA expelling him from the association.

“I implore‎ the Kelantan government to rethink implementing a law that is against medical ethics and practice.

“On a personal note, I am totally against any law that requires disfigurement,” he added.

Dr Tharmaseelan said the World Health Organisation had even advised doctors many years ago that it is against medical ethics to witness and certify prisoners if they are being caned or whipped.

“Asking a surgeon to perform amputation (as a punishment) is far more serious and is definitely opposed by the MMA,” he added.

Meanwhile, MCA Perak chairman and Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who is also an MCA central committee member, said he was appalled at the suggestion.

Dr Mah, a cardiologist, said if the hudud technical committee assumes that using surgeons to carry out the sentences will make it more humane or lenient, it is terribly mistaken.