Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2017


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Henk ten Have

Committee Member

Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Joris Gielen


Bioethics, Saudi Arabia, Universal Ethics


In order to keep pace with international bioethical practices, and with international bioethical declarations, this dissertation will investigate challenges facing patients’ rights discourse in Saudi Arabia, and the adaptation of universal bioethics standards in the Saudi healthcare system. The role of religion and issues of human rights will be discussed further, given that religion and human rights affect patient’s rights profoundly. Specifically, the divergence between religious dictations and the secular language of human rights principles will provide a distinctive perspective on patients’ rights discourse, especially in a country such as Saudi Arabia where religion is integral to the national foundations, and were customs are vividly alive.

This dissertation will examine patients’ rights as practiced in an international context in order to compare Saudi bioethics practices to other bioethics systems, while pinpointing the strengths and limitations. In addition, Saudi practices concerning patient’s rights are compared to the universal principles of bioethics, to show the variation between the existing and the desired ideal practices.

Furthermore, this dissertation will highlight the organizational and cultural challenges that decrease the possibility for the full adoption of patients’ rights in Saudi hospitals in order to analyze the problems and formulate recommendations for future action.

This study carries with it presumed significance as one of a few analyses of patients’ rights in one of the least studied countries in the field of bioethics, Saudi Arabia.