MMA only concerned with medical and legal issues, not religion


(The Star) – The Malaysian Medical Association said it was only concerned with medical and legal issues and would not comment on religious matters.

“All we are trying to do is to let medical practitioners know that the present Medical Act, enforced by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), does not offer any protection for doctors to perform such amputations,” its president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan said on Tuesday.

He was commenting on allegations that the MMA made statements derogatory of Islam or Hudud Law, and said the association was merely informing medical practitioners about the status of the law.

Dr Tharmaseelan stated last Friday that the MMA was opposed to the idea of surgeons performing procedures such as amputation under Hudud Law as it was against medical ethics.

“Thousands of doctors have called up the association for advice, and it is our duty to inform them that disciplinary action will follow on those not abiding to the rules and regulations codified by the MMC,” he said when contacted.

When asked about I-Medik’s (Muslim Medical and Heath Practitioners’ Association) claim that an Islamic medical doctor’s oath fully supports Islam as a way of life, including Shariah laws, Tharmaseelan said he was not qualified to comment on the issue.

“Unless the Medical Act is amended, it will not be possible for any doctor to perform such amputations, whatever their personal belief may be.

“In fact even the Health Minister (Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam) concurred with our views on this issue,” he added.

Kelantan deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah had said that in cases where Hudud Law called for a convict’s hand to be amputated (in cases of theft), the procedure would be done by surgeons.

A number of Muslim associations criticised MMA for its statement, claiming that their refusal to abide by the Hudud requirement was derogatory to the religion.