Monday 11 December 2017

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

Tallaght Hospital confirmed the incident took place on Tuesday
Tallaght Hospital confirmed the incident took place on Tuesday

Conor Feehan and David Kearns

Tallaght Hospital has confirmed that a patient this week refused care from two consultants on the grounds of religion.

The woman turned down treatment from a female consultant who was wearing a hijab and was asked by the patient if she was a member of the Muslim faith.

The patient then asked for another medical professional to look after her care.

The issue came to light when the daughter of the patient allegedly wrote about her mother’s experiences on social media.


She reportedly claimed that a second consultant, who was also a Muslim, then entered the room, and her mother then asked for a “non-Muslim consultant”.

The social media post also said that the woman did not want a Muslim doctor involved in her medical care.

Independent Councillor Dermot Looney took to Twitter to say that Muslim doctors do “amazing work” around Ireland and in Tallaght.

Tallaght Hospital confirmed that a patient had refused treatment.

“Tallaght Hospital cannot comment on individual patient cases due to patient confidentiality,” they said.

“However our Hospital’s values emphasise respect, and the hospital’s establishing charter guarantees the free profession and practice of religion by all associated with the hospital and in particular the members of staff,” it said in a statement.

“These values are upheld by all staff and the hospital expects patients to respect these values of fairness and equity.”

Tallaght Hospital has since confirmed that treatment was provided to the woman in question, as the hospital has a duty of care to all its patients.

A spokeswoman for the Muslim Association of Ireland said she feared that acts carried out by groups like Isis or Isil were turning people against all Muslims.

“We do not know why this patient reacted the way she did, but we fear Muslims are facing racism from members of society who wrongly believe that such terror groups are acting in the name of Islam,” said the spokeswoman.

“We are the first victims of these terror groups and then everyone turns against us because they think we are all the same and that the killings are done in our name.

“Sometimes these attitudes happen through ignorance, but it fuels racism.

“What I would say to this patient is read more about Islam...and ask the doctor’s colleagues about them before judging them.”

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