“A GP has revealed he is planning to quit medicine over
an investigation by the doctors watchdog into claims he ‘discriminated’
against a Muslim woman for asking her to remove her veil. “Dr Keith Wolverson said he ‘politely’ asked the woman to take off
the garment for patient safety reasons during a consultation last year
because he was unable to hear her explain her sick daughter’s symptoms. “He was then ‘deeply upset’ when last week he received a letter from
the General Medical Council, the professional regulator, informing him
that he was subject to an inquiry over allegations of racial
discrimination which could result in him being struck off.
“Last night, Dr Wolverson, who has practised as a GP for 23 years and
has an unblemished record, said regardless of the outcome of the
investigation he now plans to leave his job. “He said: ‘I feel a major injustice has taken place. This is why you
are waiting so long to see your GP and doctors are leaving in droves.
This country will have no doctors left if we continue to treat them in
this manner. I’m deeply upset. ‘A doctor’s quest to perform the very finest consultation for the
safety of the patient has been misinterpreted in a duplicitous manner to
suggest there has been an act of racism committed. I absolutely no
longer want to be a doctor.’
“Dr Wolverson told how the Muslim woman brought her daughter, aged
ten or 11, to see him at a walk-in centre at Royal Stoke University
Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, last June. “The doctor said he asked the woman to remove the veil as he was
unable to hear her explain her sick daughter’s symptoms because of the
niqab she was wearing “The mother said she was concerned the child had tonsillitis. ‘But the 52-year-old GP struggled to hear the mother’s account of the
girl’s health problems because her speech was being obscured by her
niqab – a garment worn by some Muslim women that covers the body and
face apart from the eyes.
“The doctor said he ‘politely’ asked the woman to remove the veil covering her face so he could be sure what she was saying. “I asked her, would you kindly remove your face veil please because
it makes communication very difficult,’ Dr Wolverson explained.
‘Normally this issue doesn’t arise because patients automatically do so. ‘“One would think that any parent would be wholly supportive and grateful that a doctor was trying to safely treat their child.” “According to Dr Wolverson, the mother complied with his request without raising any objections.
“But half an hour after the consultation, her husband arrived and declared he was making a complaint about the GP’s behaviour. ‘He sat outside my consultation room and threateningly made eye
contact towards me whenever I went out to fetch each patient,’ Dr
Wolverson said. ‘He then made a formal complaint and I was prevented
from working at the walk-in centre again.’ “It has since emerged that NHS bosses sent the GMC a form outlining
the complaints. It says the woman told the doctor she did not want to
remove the veil on religious grounds but he refused to continue the
consultation unless she did.
Should we not believe Dr. Wolverton, when he said the child’s mother
“complied with his request without raising any objection”? There are two
possible reasons for her to have changed her story. It might be that
she herself changed it to a tale of forced removal, so as to avoid being
punished by her husband for having voluntarily removed the covering
over her face. Or another obvious possibility: the husband, enraged at
the doctor’s request to his wife, decided to have her change her story,
and to now claim that the doctor had threatened to end the consultation
unless she removed her face veil. And then the husband could make those
wild charges of “racism” and “discrimination,” and malevolently get the
doctor in deep trouble for trying tonly o do the best job he could.