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The Muslim Surgeon and Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding the Restoration of Virginity

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In the last few decades surgeons have been able to perform an operation that repairs a torn hymen, and thus allows young women and girls whose hymen is not intact to reappear as virgins. Most of the ethical issues related to hymen repair surgery concern the conduct of the surgeon and the question of whether restoration of virginity is a way to deceive husbands. The status of hymen restoration surgery has been the subject of several fatwas issued by leading religious authorities and articles written by Muslim lawyers, physicians and ethicists. Virginity restoration, based on the above sources, appears to have its supporters and opponents. The study of hymen restoration is also related to the status of women in society and their rights, to ancient social taboos, and to the impact of modern scientific technology on society at large.

Affiliations: 1: The Department of Arabic Language and Literature, The University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel 31905

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