Dr Vladislav Rogozov, 46, inset above, has been suspended by Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital after he made public a an incident involving a Muslim surgeon who refused to remove her headscarf.
According to this report, the incident occurred in 2013 but was not made public until Rogozov, a consultant anaesthetist, wrote about it on a Czech blog.
I came into the operating room, where I met the surgeon, a woman shrouded in a Muslim headscarf. I immediately stopped the operation of the hall and asked her to put down her scarf and replace it with the prescribed headgear.
After a long discussion held with respect, decency and factual arguments, the surgeon refused and left the operating room. We managed to subsequently find another surgeon who performed the operation.
After the end of the operating day other members of the surgical team came to me (in a low voice and with the door closed) to share their concerns about the threat to patient safety.
He said others shared his concerns but were reluctant to raise them for fear of being accused of racism or Islamophobia. He added:
If the medics in a developed country are afraid to draw attention to threats to patient safety because of accusations of racism, then it is an example of the absurdity of multiculturalism.
He said the surgeon’s refusal to remove her headscarf forced the hospital to find a stand-in. She later left the hospital after an investigation backed Rogozov for enforcing the strict dress code.
In its policy, the NHS trust says:
Headscarves worn for religious purposes are permitted in most areas, however they are excluded in areas such as theatre, where they could present a health and safety and cross-infection hazard.
So why was Rogozov suspended?
According to Dr David Throssell, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ spokesman:
Not for raising patient safety issues as we take these very seriously. However since the publication of articles, attributed to the member of staff, we have received concerns about the tone he has used. On this basis the content and nature of the views published are currently being investigated.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn and Peter Sykes.