Other > Stories
Should doctor be sacked for asking Muslim woman to remove veil?
I'm absolutely seething with rage over the treatment of a doctor who could be struck off, after 23-years of unblemished service in our NHS, because he asked a Muslim woman to remove her veil so he could understand what was wrong with her poorly child.
Dr Keith Wolverson, 52, is to be hauled before the General Medical Council (GMC) to face 'racial discrimination' charges, and could lose his job, simply because he did what was needed in order to treat a sick little girl.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts - Am I right? Is this PC gone mad? Or should he have been more 'culturally sensitive'?
The gist is that Dr Wolverson was in his Stoke-based surgery when a poorly girl, aged 10 or 11, and her mother, who was wearing the niqab, walked in.
The mother tried to explain her daughter's symptoms, but Dr Wolverson couldn't understand what she was saying because her veil was obstructing her mouth.
He wanted what was best for the child. He wanted to cure her. That's his job, for goodness sake!
So he asked the mother to remove her face veil so he could understand what she was saying.
The mother lifted the veil without any complaint whatsoever and the young girl received treatment. Fine.
Well, as it turns out, it's obviously not fine.
Around half an hour later the woman's husband storms into the waiting room and makes a formal complaint that could leave the long-standing doctor's career in tatters.
And the PC brigade at the GMC seemingly jump at the chance to prove that they're not racist by dragging a previously upstanding, long-serving doctor through their legal minefield.
Is it any wonder our NHS is on its knees if this is how we treat dedicated, lifelong doctors?
Dr Wolverson's account is as follows: "I asked her (the mother), would you kindly remove your face veil please because it makes communication very difficult.
"Normally this issue doesn’t arise because patients automatically do so.
"One would think that any parent would be wholly supportive and grateful that a doctor was trying to safely treat their child."
And here's what he says happened when the husband arrived on the scene: "He sat outside my consultation room and threateningly made eye contact towards me whenever I went out to fetch each patient.
"He then made a formal complaint and I was prevented from working at the walk-in centre again."
It can't just be me who thinks this is totally bonkers? In fact, I know it isn't.
A petition to stop Dr Wolverson getting fired already had 44,600 signatures at the time of writing. You can sign it here.
It's not as if Dr Wolverson approached this lady on the Stoke-on-Trent high street and demanded that she removed her veil! He was doing his job!
Surely he should have been hauled before the GMC if he'd NOT asked the woman to remove her veil?!
After all, if he hadn't asked her, he wouldn't have been able to understand what she was saying and he wouldn't have treated the child.
I'm all for cultural sensitivity. I went to school on what's known as 'The Curry Mile' in Manchester.
I'm incredibly proud that Britain is a tolerant, safe, accepting place for people of all different cultures, religions, colours and creeds.
The likes of the English Defence League and the toothless, ignorant (often jobless) hoards who follow them can take a long walk of a short plank for all I care.
But, for me, the case of Dr Wolverson just goes to highlight the fact that sometimes our relentless push to prove that we're as culturally sensitive as physically possible just gets in the way of common sense.
I ask you this: If Dr Wolverson had been trying to treat a Jewish man for a skin condition on his scalp, and asked him to remove his skull cap, or Kippah, would he find himself up for the sack?
What about a nun who's taken a vow of silence? If he'd asked her to break that vow so she could communicate what was wrong with her, would his livelihood be on the line?
Of course not.
Whatever the outcome of the GMC hearing, Dr Wolverson says he's planning on quitting anyway as a result of all this madness, leaving the over-stretched NHS without a capable, experienced doctor.
Comment with your thoughts below.