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Irish patient refuses care from two Muslim doctors: 'I don't want to be treated by someone in a hijab'

Published 10/12/2015

Elderly woman refused to be treated by Muslim staff at Tallaght Hospital
Elderly woman refused to be treated by Muslim staff at Tallaght Hospital

A patient at an Irish hospital refused to accept treatment from two doctors on the grounds that they were Muslims.

The elderly woman presented at Tallaght Hospital on Tuesday evening and was initially seen by a female consultant wearing a hijab.

Asked if she was a Muslim, the doctor reported “yes” at which point the patient asked to be treated by a different consultant as she “did not want a Muslim involved in her care.”

The daughter of the patient recounted the exchange in a Facebook post written on 'Anti Islam Ireland', where she praised her mother for having “the sense to know enough to not allow a Muslim to treat her.”

A second consultant was called to treat the woman but he too was refused by the patient because he was also Muslim.

Described by the daughter as “a big black bearded man”, this second doctor attempted to speak to the woman and address her concerns but was told that: “I am in Dublin, Ireland, my home country surely it can’t be too hard to find a non-Muslim consultant”.

Praising her mother’s stance, the daughter continued her Facebook post, writing: “I’m proud of her speaking up for herself… if my mam was a Muslim woman who refused to be seen by a man, it would simply be considered her religious right…

“Many patient will be getting an education for free on Islam by me each day my mam is there… you never know, it could catch on where other patients will also be refused to be seen by Muslims.”

The post itself went on to say that “many nurses and patients” agreed with the woman’s refusal to be treated by a Muslim but that “they were too afraid to say anything”.

Tallaght Hospital confirmed the incident but rejected claims that staff at the hospital refused to treat the woman following her outburst.

“Tallaght Hospital cannot comment on individual patient cases due to patient confidentiality… [but] no patients were denied appropriate treatment this week.”

A spokesman went on to say that Tallaght Hospital placed an emphasise on “respect” and that its guarantees the free profession and practice of religion “particular for members of staff”.

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

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