Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Monash Health, the niqab and discrimination

One of Victoria's largest hospitals will change its policy on female-only care after a Muslim patient wearing a full-length niqab complained of discrimination during an antenatal visit at one of its clinics.
For Ziarata Zia, the niqab she wears – which reveals only her eyes, hands and feet – is central to her Muslim faith.
Ms Zia, who moved from Afghanistan to Melbourne in 2010, believes it is a sin to be seen without it or be touched by a man other than her husband or immediate family, except in an emergency.
Two years ago, a significant conflict arose during Ms Zia's antenatal consultation at a Monash clinic because she requested a female doctor. Afterwards she lodged a discrimination complaint at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
With advice from Victoria Legal Aid, Ms Zia resolved the matter before the hearing and was involved in a review of the hospital's policies by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
The commission found that the hospital's policy told pregnant patients who wanted to see a female midwife or doctor "for cultural or personal reasons" that this was not possible at Monash Health, and they should consider "other options of care".
The above text is from The Age of 6 May 2015.  
To read more, please go here

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