[Ed. – When religion interferes with medicine, as it does here or in the case of Christian Scientists, patients should be required to sign a ‘hold harmless’ agreement with the doctor.]
The 23-year career of a family doctor hangs in the balance after he reportedly asked a Muslim woman to remove a veil covering her mouth, so that he could better understand what she was saying about the condition of her ill child.
The GP, Dr Keith Wolverson, explained that he could not hear the woman properly through her niqab, a veil covering the face from the eyes down, and asked her politely to remove it while she was describing her daughter’s illness.
“I found it difficult to understand what the woman was saying behind her veil, so politely asked her to remove it [as] I needed to hear what was wrong with her daughter so I could offer the safest possible care,” he explained.
Dr Wolverson said that she had obliged and that there had not been an issue when he initially asked, but half an hour later the woman’s husband arrived at the surgery and lodged a complaint against the doctor with his supervisors.