Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam.
Dr Mark Enright, professor of microbiology at Imperial College London, said: “To wash your hands properly, and reduce the risks of MRSA and C.difficile, you have to be able to wash the whole area around the wrist.
“I don’t think it would be right to make an exemption for people on any grounds. The policy of bare below the elbows has to be applied universally.”
U.K. health officials want to apply this universally to all health care practitioners, individuals who enter into voluntary employment contracts. This is, of course, the proper decision because it’s based in science and objectively applied. No one has a right to put others at risk to satisfy your religion.
For consideration: how is that view compatible with a belief that parents have the right to impose the risks and negatives of medically unnecessary circumcision on their healthy children, as long as their religion requires it? Is the patient’s health and welfare relevant, as it clearly is in the example above?