A Saudi Arabian judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man’s spinal cord as punishment for his attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, the brother of the victim said Thursday.
The victim, Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was left paralyzed after a fight more than two years ago and subsequently lost a foot. Mr. Mutairi asked a judge in northwestern Tabuk Province to impose an equivalent punishment on his attacker under Islamic law, his brother Khaled al-Mutairi said by telephone from the province.
This story is at once bizarre and frightening.
Will any of the hospitals oblige under pressure from the authorities? What if the hospitals refuse? How will Saudi Arabia, which takes its religion seriously and practices Islamic Shariat Law, react?
If the hospitals refuse, what will the courts do? What happens to the Hippocratic Oath that the doctors take?