KUALA LUMPUR – As the Kelantan government prepares to apply hudud law in the north-east Malaysian state, medical specialists involvement in the implementation of the law, such as hand amputation for those convicted of theft, is dividing the country’s medical associations, amid threats of axing doctors who perform them.
“From the medical aspect, there is no provision under the Medical Act for doctors to carry out such duties,” Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, was quoted by Bernama news agency on Sunday, April 27.
“The duties of a doctor are set under the Medical Act. They (doctors) should carry out their duties within the confines of the act,” he told a media conference after launching the 2014 World Health Day celebration at Jasmin Flat, Senawang.
The minister was commenting on news reports on Wednesday that Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, who is also 1993 Syariah Criminal Code Technical Committee chairman, was planning to use the service of surgeons in amputating the hands of criminals convicted under the Shari`ah Criminal Code Enactment.
Similar reservations were made the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) which rejected the proposal to use surgeons to amputate the hands of thieves under hudud law.
The MMA has also threatened to axe doctors who perform amputations under hudud, according to Muslim medical practitioners’ group i-Medik.
The MMA president, Dr NKS Tharmaseelan, has also cited the World Heath Organization (WHO) instructions to doctors not to be a witness or certify the whipping and caning of criminals, adding that the amputation of criminals’ limbs would be even more “serious”.No kidding.