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Male nurse fired over treating Muslim women

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http://news.yahoo.com/nurse-says-fired-over-treating-muslim-women-164322662.html

AP – Fri, Nov 25, 2011

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — A male registered nurse and Vietnam war Army medic has sued the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, saying he was fired for disobeying a Muslim supervisor's order not to treat women wearing conservative Islamic dress.

John Benitez Jr. filed a sex discrimination suit Wednesday in Detroit U.S. District Court after getting the go-ahead from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a "right to sue" letter Oct. 19.

The Associated Press left phone and email messages during the Thanksgiving holiday seeking comment from Dearborn officials. The Detroit News said a Dearborn spokeswoman declined comment.

In a complaint filed on his behalf, his lawyer, Deborah L. Gordon, said Benitez joined Dearborn's Health Department in September 2010. The 63-year-old Madison Heights resident has a three-decade nursing career. Dearborn has a large Muslim community and one of the largest Arab immigrant communities in the U.S.

Soon after starting work, Gordon said a Muslim supervisor told Benitez to refer patients wearing hijab to her, rather than treating them himself.

The complaint said Benitez complied until Nov. 17, 2010, when a doctor saw what he was doing and questioned him "about the cumbersome and unusual practice of taking women wearing a head scarf to the nursing supervisor for care," rather than going ahead and treating them.

The complaint said Benitez then began complying with the new instruction that he treat women wearing hijab.

On Dec. 1, 2010, Gordon said Benitez was fired. She said he was told it was "not because of any performance problem, but was instead carried out because the clinic's conservative male Muslim clientele did not want a male treating female patients."


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So...this means that no patient complained? If a patient doesn't want him to do the exam, s/he can always ask for someone else. I work in healthcare too. The only times that it seems that a female caregiver is requested is in rape cases and, very rarely, (like 5 times in 15 years) with people for religious reasons. If a female is not available, simply having ANYone with the patient to chaperone. (Young Mormon guys request this more often than Muslims, in my experience.)


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(Young Mormon guys request this more often than Muslims, in my experience.)

Ummm....Let me clarify. "Young Mormon men request a chaperone..."


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Attention NEW K-1 Filers: (2012) Possible 1st year costs = Possibly 3K+$ for first year including fees for mailing, documents, supplies, etc.. NOT including travel costs. Process: 1.)Apply-340$ 2.)RFE? 3.) Med-300??$ 4.)Interview-350$ 5.)Surrender passport. 6.)Get Visa. 7.)Fly here. 8.) Marry in 90 days. 9.) Submit apps to stay, work, & travel-1070$ 10.) Biometrics-More fingerprinting 11.) GREENCARD ISSUED APR 9TH, 2013-11 MONTHS FOR AOS!
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I'm muslim and if I need to see a male I see a male. I've even seen a male ER doc when I had a miscarriage. It may not be ideal but it's a necessary medical procedure. When I had my c-section, a male nurse assistant came to my room. I never said a word but he didn't come back. My next check and the rest of them that night were from a female. I hope this guy gets a ton of money for being fired.


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I'm Muslim....in case of emergency (something life threatening) IF there is not a women that can attend me a male is OK.......

In this case it appears there was a women that was able to take care of the Muslim women.....I don't think he should have lost his job but he should have spoken to the women that requested he send the Muslim women to her so that she understood what was going on and could have resolved it between her and the other party that was insisting he could treat Muslim women

just my opinion

sara

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If I was a woman moving to Saudi Arabia I would not expect them to change the cultural norms to suit my personal needs/beliefs. When I visit another country I go by their rules. If you don't like the cultural norms in this country hey no problem - but for crying-out-loud don't move here.

In this case the man was given two sets of conflicting instructions by two different doctors. Looking back he probably should have gotten together with the doctors and said something like "Hey! what exactly is the policy for males treating Muslim women? Can we write that down somewhere?"

Not that this would have solved the problem.... because according to the article it was not the women that had a problem but the Muslim men. He was not let go for violating any orders but because his role in general was not conducent to having a male perform it given the people who frequent the facility.... Kinda like having a male stripper at the local gentlemen's club: No policy or amount of talent is going to solve the underlying problem.


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If I was a woman moving to Saudi Arabia I would not expect them to change the cultural norms to suit my personal needs/beliefs. When I visit another country I go by their rules. If you don't like the cultural norms in this country hey no problem - but for crying-out-loud don't move here.

In this case the man was given two sets of conflicting instructions by two different doctors. Looking back he probably should have gotten together with the doctors and said something like "Hey! what exactly is the policy for males treating Muslim women? Can we write that down somewhere?"

Not that this would have solved the problem.... because according to the article it was not the women that had a problem but the Muslim men. He was not let go for violating any orders but because his role in general was not conducent to having a male perform it given the people who frequent the facility.... Kinda like having a male stripper at the local gentlemen's club: No policy or amount of talent is going to solve the underlying problem.

Thats the thing it is not culture for us its religious reasons.........my sisters and I have a female doctor...my brother has a male doctor........if there is a choice then we should be allowed that choice...

sara

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So...this means that no patient complained? If a patient doesn't want him to do the exam, s/he can always ask for someone else. I work in healthcare too. The only times that it seems that a female caregiver is requested is in rape cases and, very rarely, (like 5 times in 15 years) with people for religious reasons. If a female is not available, simply having ANYone with the patient to chaperone. (Young Mormon guys request this more often than Muslims, in my experience.)

So,

I understand that there are cultural and religious differences here in the good ole USA. That being said...

If a Muslim woman comes into the local hospital ER in cardiac arrest I guess they should just wait for a female doctor or nurse to become available. :whistle:


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alas, Dearborn has changed much over the years - those with power and money have proscribed the internal workings of a department at a hospital.

In one sense - I say good for them - as it's always a money and power 'bit', to get what you want.

As for the male nurse - I feel no sympathy for him at all - he should have understood that any local application of Sharia Law would directly affect his working environs, and he should have adjusted accordingly.

FWIW, a doctor can't change local nursing policy - only the charge nurse or the head nurse can. HIS BOSS already told him what to do - he decided to break that based on a comment (not an order or command) from a DOCTOR. Something that's rarely done, btw.

OH WELL - let's see how it rolls in court.


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So,

I understand that there are cultural and religious differences here in the good ole USA. That being said...

If a Muslim woman comes into the local hospital ER in cardiac arrest I guess they should just wait for a female doctor or nurse to become available. :whistle:

no if it is a matter of life or death it is ok for a male to attend her

sara

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One of the issues that is being ignored is the question of what his duties involved.

For example, What if it was drawing blood? Is that a big deal or a threat? Does this supervisor think that patient care is less important than playing a role or being bossy?

What if it was doing a patient assessment of the usual questions and answers? What if it was giving discharge instructions and bandaging or casting a patient's ankle? There are many, many functions and to make a blanket statement that "Muslim women are required to wait until I am ready for them to get health care in MY clinic" is the problem.

We all have preferences, but if I have to wait to have my blood pressure re-checked until the one female boss is available, that boss is compromising the care of the patients and being VERY unprofessional and absolutely be called out on it. For the majority of care, this is how it is in reality. The article is not specifying gyn care or anything about very intimate situations so I am guessing that the "rule" was one person deciding that to be in control bases on her ideas and not to really do what was best. (Something we all see in our jobs at times!)

The story is leaving out many details, I am sure.


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no if it is a matter of life or death it is ok for a male to attend her

sara

If it's permissible in a matter of life or death, then why (and I am not trying in anyway to belittle your faith) is is NOT ok for a male to treat a female in non life threatening circumstances IF there are either family members or a chaperone in the room?

As I said before, I realize that America is made up of many different religious and cultural beliefs, but if I moved to another country I would not expect them to accomodate my beliefs and change their operating procedures to suit me. If I relocate to another country I need to assimilate, not the other way around. Although I guess if I felt so strongly about it I would be free to move to another land.

Another option would be to have hospitals/clinics dedicated to treating ONLY Muslims so that cultural or religious issues would never take place. Of course, these hospitals would have to be strictly private and for profit, with NO government subsidies.


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If it's permissible in a matter of life or death, then why (and I am not trying in anyway to belittle your faith) is is NOT ok for a male to treat a female in non life threatening circumstances IF there are either family members or a chaperone in the room?

As I said before, I realize that America is made up of many different religious and cultural beliefs, but if I moved to another country I would not expect them to accomodate my beliefs and change their operating procedures to suit me. If I relocate to another country I need to assimilate, not the other way around. Although I guess if I felt so strongly about it I would be free to move to another land.

Another option would be to have hospitals/clinics dedicated to treating ONLY Muslims so that cultural or religious issues would never take place. Of course, these hospitals would have to be strictly private and for profit, with NO government subsidies.

Its about religion and would take a long time to try to explain but simplistically put.....our beauty is only for our family and our body is only for our husbands....we also try to keep our mind clean of sexual thoughts ....pretty hard to do i admit.....I did not move from a Muslim country to the USA most of my family was born and raised right here in the USA......beings our wonderful country is a free country why should we not be allowed to be attended by a women if there is one available? In this particular case there was a woman that was available but was not given the opportunity to attend the Muslim female

In a matter of life or death there is not time to look to see if there is someone acceptable to treat the Muslim women......in cases of non emergency (life or death situation) there is time to look for one that is acceptable....

sara

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