Woman doctors not always available
A code of conduct has been drafted to assist men who have issues with a male gynaecologist helping their wives.23 April 2008
BELGIUM - The Flemish gynaecologists have drafted a code of conduct to address some problems that arise with patients.
The code is intended to resolve the problem some men have with a male doctor helping their wife.
The code of conduct maintains the right of patients to opt for the doctor of their choice, but specifies that it is not an absolute right. Especially in the emergency room or regarding doctors on call, it may not be possible to always get a female doctor.
The code of conduct was deemed necessary due to a number of incidents with Muslims who refused to be seen by a male gynaecologist. Male gynaecologists are being confronted more and more often with Muslim women who demand a female gynaecologist.
The new code of conduct specifies that doctors do not always have to agree to such requests. Sometimes it is difficult to get another doctor for a specific reason. Patients on the other hand always have the freedom to refuse care.
“Our rules have nothing to do with racism or sexism and patients still have the free choice of doctors,” stresses Dr Johan Van Wiemeersch in the medical journal De Artsenkrant.
The Flemish Association of Obstetrics and Gynaecology had discussed the code of conduct with several experts and influential people before announcing it, to make sure that it was socially acceptable.
The code of conduct has the broad support of the Association of Belgian Specialised Doctors. According to the Order of Belgian Doctors, the code is ‘correct’ in its content.
[flandersenews.be / The VRT / Expatica]
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