Makkah Gov. receives British consul general

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal meets British Consul General Barrie Peach in Jeddah on Thursday. (SPA )
Updated 13 September 2018
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Makkah Gov. receives British consul general

  • During the meeting, they exchanged cordial talks and discussed issues of mutual interest

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal received British Consul General Barrie Peach in Jeddah on Thursday. During the meeting, they exchanged cordial talks and discussed issues of mutual interest.

Earlier, Prince Khaled chaired the first meeting of the Makkah Region Development Authority Council. He stressed the necessity of integrating efforts to achieve the desired development, resulting in qualitative changes at the levels of people and place.

The council reviewed the features of the organization of the region’s  and cities’ development bodies that include organizational links, the functions and competencies, the board of the commission, as well as the powers and tasks assigned to the council, the executive committee and the chief executive.

The council also reviewed the objectives of the authority, which focuses on comprehensive planning and development in all areas and providing for the needs of cities of public services and facilities.

The council is responsible for drawing up the general policies and preparing studies and comprehensive plans for development with the review of plans, programs and development projects and supervision of their implementation.

The meeting also dealt with the strategic vision and direction of the authority to develop a comprehensive vision and strategic programs to lead urban development and activate the complementary role between relevant institutions.


Saudi ministry reaffirms female patients consent and not ‘male

In the future, consent to treatment will only have to be gained from the next of kin, not necessarily a male guardian, if the patient is under the age of 18. (SPA)
Updated 2 min 36 sec ago
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Saudi ministry reaffirms female patients consent and not ‘male

  • Dr. Yassir Kalakitawi: “If a male guardian disapproves, he is then referred to an ethics committee to discuss the matter further”

RIYADH: The confusion surrounding whether women need a male guardian’s permission to undergo vital childbirth procedures, including C-sections, was cleared on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health said it had eased the way for expectant mothers to make their own decisions over medical interventions.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abdulaali said patients’ rights were a “top priority” in meeting the Kingdom’s ethical standards in health care.
“Female patients’ rights are handled with a great deal of attention and effort,” he added. “Women are provided the right to give their consent for medical care, including surgical procedures, in accordance with the policies and procedures.”
He stressed that this is “nothing new,” but part of ongoing “efforts to engage the community and promote positive behavior.” He said it is an “awareness campaign” that could potentially save many lives.
Dr. Emad Sagr, chairman of the women’s health unit at the International Medical Center in Jeddah, said the ministry’s announcement has cleared up any confusions.
Previously, he said, there had been no firm guidelines in place to inform medical professionals on female rights of consent without first getting a male guardian’s permission.
This uncertainty had the potential to put pregnant women at risk, particularly if a C-section was urgently required, he added.
“Twenty years ago, we used to go by the fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law),” Sagr told Arab News.
“I’ve never waited for the consent of a male guardian, as there’s nothing clear in Shariah law which states that a pregnant woman isn’t allowed to have a say about her own body.”
He said the ministry’s statement also covered general surgical interventions on women. “It’s the individual woman’s life that might be at stake, and they should have the right to protect themselves,” Sagr added.
He said the only procedure that required both the husband’s and wife’s approval was “sterilization.”
In the past, some hospitals adopted their own policies surrounding informed consent for female surgical interventions. If a male guardian refused to give his consent, the matter was referred to an ethics committee.
In the future, consent to treatment will only have to be gained from the next of kin, not necessarily a male guardian, if the patient is under the age of 18.
“Hospitals are now bound by the consent form signed by a female patient,” said Dr. Yassir Kalakitawi, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital in Jeddah.
“If a male guardian disapproves, he is then referred to an ethics committee to discuss the matter further.”
Dr. Firas Jameel, a GP, said whenever possible, doctors would still always recommend that families discuss any intervention procedures in advance with medical experts.