Mumbai: Doctors need nod to shave patient’s beard

Mumbai: The BYL Nair Hospital administration has issued a circular directing doctors not to shave the beard of Muslim patients without their permission. “If any doctor is found guilty of doing so, the hospital administration will take strict action against the doctor, who will also be suspended,” said the senior official. The hospital had received many complaints of beards being shaved for minor surgeries. In January, a Muslim patient’s beard was shaved even though he was admitted for a minor leg surgery.

Rais Shaikh, group leader of the Samajwadi Party, had written a letter to the BMC citing religious reasons why Muslim male patients keep a beard, and had urged that they should not be shaved off in hospitals during surgeries as it is an important part of Islamic practice. Following this, the Nair Hospital had issued a circular to all departments stating if any doctor or medical staffer is found shaving the beard of a Muslim patient then action would be initiated against the person.

“When we received a complaint in January, we issued the first order. And recently we have again reissued the order in all the departments of the hospital and have directed medical staffers not to shave beard of any patient without his permission,” said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, hospital’s dean. A senior doctor said shaving off the beard for life threatening surgeries, is acceptable, but in cases of minor ailments

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