The US and UK governments are seemingly on a one up race in currying favour with their Muslim population, if things continue in the same trend one would not be surprised if these countries soon become the Islamic Republic of USA or the Sultanate of Great Britain.
In what seems to be a case of blatant Muslim appeasement and show of utter disregard to basic hygiene and safety of patients the UK Department of Health has exempted female Muslim Doctors and Nurses from the basic prerequisite of washing their hands before performing medical procedures as this would mean baring the arm up to the elbow, an act that would supposedly compromise their modesty.
A department of Health spokesperson has added insult to injury by justifying that the step is intended to provide direction to services on how they can balance infection control measures with cultural beliefs without compromising patient safety. The move comes as a shock in the wake of findings that long sleeves can act as potential resting grounds for bacteria that spread deadly infections like MRSA and Clostridium difficile. The Health Department is either blissfully unaware of the hundreds of super bug deaths taking a toll of patients in post operative care or feels that religious appeasement is more important than safeguarding the life of patients.
Tremors of the Health Department directive are being felt across the country, emboldened by the concession made to the community female Muslim students at Alder Hay Children’s hospital refused rolling up their sleeve, taking a cue from them students of the Leicester University have also made similar objections. In Sheffield University a Muslim medic refused to scrub her hands as this would leave her forearm exposed.
The exemption has been strongly criticized by hygiene experts who feel that when it comes to hygiene in treating patients just no chances can be taken and no exception should be made on any grounds. Dr Mark Enright, Professor of Microbiology at Imperial College, London made it very emphatic that to wash the hands properly and eliminate the risk of MRSA and Clostridium Difficile the area around the wrist has to be washed thoroughly which is obviously not possible if a long sleeve covers the hands up to the wrist.
The Islamic Medical Association quick to cash in on the prevailing mood has made it very clear that covering the entire body in public except the face and hands is a basic tenet of Islam laid down for women, which could not be compromised on the grounds of professional compulsion. It has proclaimed that no Muslim woman whether a doctor, medical student, nurse or even a patient should be forced to bare her arms below the elbow under any circumstance. Dr Majid Katme the association spokesperson has made a conflicting claim that covering the hands up to the wrist far from being a source of risk actually insulates the skin from bacteria as there is lot of evidence to suggest that uncovered skin can be a fertile ground for such harmful bacteria to infect and multiply.