March 19, 2008

UK Muslim doctors asked to remove veil

Muslim women doctors in the UK must remove their face veil while treating patients, according to new guidelines issued by the General Medical Council, which regulates the country's medical profession.

The GMC said doctors should be prepared to set aside personal and cultural preferences so that they don't compromise on patient care.

The Council, in its new document ''Personal Beliefs and Medical Practice'' said doctors must be open about procedures they object to because of their beliefs, such as abortion.

''Some patients, for example, may find that a face veil worn by their doctor presents an obstacle to effective communication and the development of trust.

''You must be prepared to respond to a patient's individual needs and take steps to anticipate and overcome any perceived barrier to communication,'' the document states.

Women could wear the hijab, which covers the head, but not the face.

The Muslim Council of Great Britain supported the GMC guidelines, saying that female Muslim doctors have a responsibility to put patient care first.

Dr Abdullah Shehu, chairman of the Muslim Council's medical committee, said: ''While wearing a veil does not preclude someone from practicing medicine, there is no harm in removing it where the ability to communicate or care for the patient is compromised. The Muslim community very much welcomes this guidance.''


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Shaheen Lakhan said...

We recently wrote an article on a similar issue at Brain Blogger. We drew on the parallels between the Catholic Church and radical Muslim ideology. Just as the Catholic Church was once known as much for their political actions as it was for religious doctrine, many Muslim doctors today are regarded both as medical adviser and religious leader. Sometimes, in fact, their professional clout gives them more religious stature than someone known only for their religious authority.

We would like to hear your comments on our article. Thank you.




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