Wow! What a surprise - in an era where one thinks that the British government and organizations couldn't bend any lower in servitude to muslims and their beliefs - finally some sanity!!
The UK General Medical Council has issued new rules concerning religion and dress in the medical workplace actually based on the patient's wishes and needs. Telling doctor's that they need to set aside their personal and cultural preferences.
This is bound to offend those muslim MD's who refused to roll up their sleeves to allow the scrubbing and sanitizing of their lower arms before working with patients - especially needed with the rampant superbug sickening and killing hospital patients throughout the UK.
It is also interesting that the muslim spokesman states the the wearing of the veil, by muslim women, is an optional personal choice and not a requirement of their religion.
This is undoubtedly a positive step forward for the UK's medical profession and the people of Great Britain. It remains to be seen what opposition will ensue from the muslim community.
MUSLIM doctors wearing veils may have to take them off if patients object.
New guidance published by the General Medical Council says members must not allow personal, religious and moral views to affect patient care.
The document, called Personal Beliefs And Medical Practice, says it is for employers to set rules on workplace dress.
But it says some patients may find that a face veil `presents an obstacle to effective communication and the development of trust' and that in some situations doctors may have to `set aside' their personal and cultural preferences.
The issue of veils was recently highlighted by the case of Bury dentist Omer Butt.
Mr Butt, of Unsworth Smile Clinic, refused to treat a woman who was not wearing a headscarf and admitted reducing fees for women who wore them.
The new guidelines were given a cautious welcome by the Didsbury-based Islamic Centre, which offers advice to Muslims on a range of social and cultural issues.
Spokesman Mohammed Khayat said: "The veil is there to protect the modesty of a woman. It is a personal choice for the woman to make but it is not obligatory.
"If a patient feels that they could communicate better by a woman doctor removing the veil, then I do not see that as a religious problem. It depends on how much the doctor wishes to cover her face."
The guidance also says doctors can excuse themselves from performing, advising or referring procedures which they have a `conscientious objection' to, such as abortion or circumcision. However, they must tell the patient of their right to see someone else and make sure they have enough information to do so or make arrangements for them.
And they cannot refuse treatment to someone before or after they have had a procedure the doctor does not agree with.
The guidance warns doctors they may have to treat Jehovah's Witnesses who would rather die than have a blood transfusion.
Medical Council spokesman Dr John Jenkins said: "The guidance balances a doctors' right to practise in accordance with their views and beliefs, and patients' right to receive timely and appropriate medical care."
The Patients Association has welcomed the guidance.
Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf, of the Interfaith Alliance, said: "We strongly support the commitment to providing guidance on issues of belief and faith in clinical practice. This guidance makes it clear that any attempt by doctors to impose their religious or political views would be an abuse of power."