Friday 9 December 2016

'Any criticism of Islam is shut down in this country' - Daughter of patient who refused medical care from Muslim doctor

Irish Medical Organisation “concerned” by incident

Sarah-Jane MUrphy

Published 11/12/2015 | 17:34

Tallaght hospital
Tallaght hospital

The daughter of a woman who refused care from a Muslim consultant at Tallaght Hospital this week has defended her mother's actions.

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Yesterday Tallaght Hospital confirmed to Independent.ie that a female patient rejected treatment from a female consultant who was wearing a hijab while on duty.

The patient in question asked the doctor if she was a member of the Muslim faith.

When the medical professional answered in the affirmative, the patient asked for another medical professional to take charge of her care.

Today the young woman sought to clarify the rationale behind her mother's decision.

"Quite frankly my mother doesn't want to be treated by someone who subscribes to a set of beliefs that treats her as a lesser human being.

"If that same doctor came into the room like any other doctor in the place, it wouldn't have been obvious what her set of beliefs were but she's the one that brought it there," the patient's daughter told RTE Radio One's Liveline.

She proceeded to draw an analogy that host Philip Boucher Hayes took exception to.

Read More: 'I don't want to be treated by someone in a hijab' - Patient refuses care from two Muslim doctors

"If someone is wearing a Nazi uniform what ideology do you think they are subject to?

"Would anyone expect a Jew to be treated by a Nazi doctor?" she asked.

At this point Boucher Hayes intervened and informed the caller that her comments were illegal.

"You cannot make these remarks. You may not be familiar with incitement to hatred legislation in this country but I'm telling you that you can't do it," he said.

However, the woman stuck to her original viewpoint saying that she feels that her opinion is never well received.

"Any negative opinion or criticism of Muslims is shut down in this country," she said.

Meanwhile the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has said that it was “saddened and concerned” by reports that a patient had “refused treatment based on a doctor's religion”.

The organisation said that the Irish health services were staffed by dedicated doctors and other healthcare staff doing their best for patients and it “was vital that everyone felt respected in their workplace.”

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