‘Don’t shave patient’s beard without consent’:Doc
Responding to claims from members of the Muslim community that staff at BYL Nair Municipal Hospital, Mumbai Central, unnecessarily shaved off the beard of a patient, the hospital administration has directed doctors not to shave off beards without the patient’s permission.
The alleged incident came to light after Ummat Foundation wrote to the hospital dean and municipal corporator Rais Shaikh that a 38-year-old man was told that his beard had to be shaved before he underwent lower limb surgery.
“This is the second such incident reported within a year,” read the Ummat Foundation letter.
Shaikh said he raised the issue with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department and mentioned the religious significance of the beard.
“Beards should not be shaved off ahead of surgeries because they are an important part of Islamic practice. They keep saying that there is a standard operating procedure that has to be followed, but it isn’t followed. What is required is that more awareness should be created about such issues,” Shaikh said.
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, the dean of Nair Hospital, said that he has called for an inquiry into the matter and is yet to receive a report into the incident.
“It was also alleged that the doctors used untoward language while talking to the patient. An inquiry is been conducted in the matter,” stated a circular issued by Bharmal.
In Islam, shaving beard is forbidden because it is considered to be ‘altering the creation of God’.
Operation procedures dictate that hair is removed from areas where incisions have to be made in order to reduce the chance of infections.