Women’s visits to hospitals without male guardians banned



JEDDAH: RIMA AL-MUKHTAR

Published — Friday 14 February 2014

Last update 15 February 2014 12:46 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) has officially prevented women from visiting medical clinics without male guardians.
This came after a member of the Council of Senior Scholars issued a “fatwa” (edict) prohibiting women from visiting male doctors without having male guardians present.
“Islamic law does not permit women to visit their doctors without male guardians,” said Qais Al-Mubarak, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars. “Women are prohibited from exposing body parts to male doctors in Islamic law, especially during childbirth. This does not include medical emergencies. Islamic jurisprudence makes exceptions,” he added.
Male guardians can only be the next of kin in Islam. They are sons, grandsons, husbands, brothers, fathers or uncles.
Sources said that Haia members recently issued orders to employees working at a nutrition center not to admit women patients unless a guardian accompanies them during their weekly visits. This decision caused huge losses to the nutrition center in a single week, according to the source.
Many women have opposed this decision, saying their male relatives are not available to accompany them on a weekly basis.
“This is going to be a huge burden for us. Many of us don’t have male guardians. Those of us who do, can’t depend on them, as they have work and travel commitments,” said Muneera Dawood, a stay-at-home mother.
“Does this mean that I have to wait for my husband to be free to go on my weekly checkup? This is a serious matter. Going to the doctor is not a luxury like going to the hair salon,” she said.
Al-Mubarak said male doctors could conduct medical examinations on female patients only if female physicians are unavailable and only if male guardians accompany them. “Unaccompanied visits to male doctors can have negative implications,” he said.
The owner of a private hospital in Jeddah said that most female patients already attend to their appointments with their male guardians.
“We do not allow any patient, whether a man or a woman, to be inside the doctor’s room without having a nurse present. Aside from them having to assist the doctor with their work, they are also there to prevent free mixing between doctor and patient,” he said.
“We don’t see women coming to the hospital as un-Islamic and we usually don’t even see women coming alone, so we don’t have a problem with this new fatwa,” he said.
A local Jeddah clinic said it has not received word from the Ministry of Health on the matter. “Our clinic is like a beauty center for women to get facials and undergo other forms of skin treatment. It is almost impossible for men to join them and I’m sure this would make other patients uncomfortable,” said Dr. Waleed Abdulmajeed, a dermatologist at the local clinic.
“We will not ask our patients to be accompanied by guardians unless we receive an official note from the ministry itself,” he said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A Saudi citizen was killed in shelling fired across the border from Yemen into the southwest of Saudi Arabia on Sunday, local media reported.A shell fell on a house around dawn in Najran province, civil defense department spokesman Ali bin Om...
JEDDAH: Female voters in Al-Ahsa have urged the authorities handling the municipal elections to drop the condition of presenting the national identity card while enrolling themselves in the voters’ list. Some women in Madinah too have appealed for mo...
JEDDAH: After the recent incident of a rat eating from a bowl at a well-known food outlet in a Jeddah mall came to light, residents have called for food hygiene ratings of restaurants and roadside eateries across the city.Although the municipality wo...
JEDDAH: A muezzin (one who recites the Adhaan) of a Riyadh mosque recently sprung a surprise in the Austrian tourist town of Zell am See by his Adhaan after taking permission from members of a musical band.Social media is abuzz with the news and vide...
RIYADH: A Sri Lankan national, who works as a cleaner in the Kingdom, was commended and rewarded by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) for returning a bag containing gold to its owner.“Prince Sultan bin Salman, president o...
RIYADH: Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam arrived in Jeddah on Sunday to meet with his Saudi counterpart Nizar Madani on Monday.On arrival at the royal terminal, the minister was received by Director General of the...
RIYADH: A report of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage predicts the rate of growth in job opportunities in the country's tourism sector between 2010 and 2020 will be 10 percent a year as compared to a global growth rate of 2.5 per...
JEDDAH: Two million meningitis vaccines have been distributed among health centers in 20 governorates and provinces across the Kingdom for domestic Haj pilgrims.It is mandatory for all pilgrims to be vaccinated against meningitis and for those coming...
JEDDAH: The Makkah governorate has announced four new road projects linking Makkah and Jeddah. The new roads will facilitate smoother and faster travel between the cities.An estimated 35 million people will benefit from the projects, which will inclu...
JEDDAH: A major disaster is waiting to happen in the fish market of Madinah because of the callous attitude of traders toward handling of gas cylinders. A visit to the market presents a dreadful picture of cylinders kept on top of each other without...
JEDDAH: Information and Culture Minister Adel Al-Toraifi has approved the appointment of Khalid Bo-Ali as editor in chief of the Eastern Province-based Alsharq Arabic newspaper. He was nominated for the post by the board of directors of the newspaper...
JEDDAH: Jamil Farsi, head of the Gold and Jewelry Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), says he expects 3,000 job opportunities to be created for Saudi women in the jewelry design and gold sector across the Kingdom, with ab...
JEDDAH: More than 50 visually challenged people successfully performed Umrah with the help of the Ebsar Foundation for the Visually Impaired and the Ambassadors of Volunteers organization under their program “Umrah for the visually impaired,” which w...
JEDDAH: Although the Ministry of Labor is opening its doors to receive complaints from private sector employees, many Saudi females employed in cosmetic and perfume shops in Madinah are not making complaints about being overworked due to fear of losi...
JEDDAH: Health Minister Dr. Khaled Al-Falih is set to increase the number of beds in all private sector hospitals, as per new implementation regulations adopted this year.The move will help address the problem of delays in public sector projects, as...

Stay Connected

Facebook