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Is it wrong that patients can refuse to be treated by a certain gender? watch

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    Is it somewhat immoral that patients can refuse to be treated by a specific gender? The obvious example is gynaecology or obstetrics where male doctors would be less welcomed, is this wrong? And what about if this then became more common in other areas of health care?

    Should we support patient choice? Or is there a line where discrimination kicks in?
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    No, unless they specifically say something along the lines of 'male doctors are better than female doctors'. It's more about being comfortable. For example, whilst I wouldn't want to get one I know I'll have to get a prostate exam at some point, and I'd rather a guy gave me one than girl.
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    No it is not. It's about what makes a patient comfortable. You see, we humans may be mammals but we are so above them spiritually, morally, socially and so on. We have so many conscious and subconscious needs and preferences. A woman may want a woman to examine them - this is often the case (i know i will get the one or two odd quotes saying otherwise)- so that should be respected.

    Medicine is not just about treating patients, it's about the hollistic needs of a patient.
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    I personally would feel a lot more comfortable with a female gynaecologists, however this is not because I dislike male doctors. It's more to do with the fact that a female doctor has the same bits as me and I feel a lot calmer and comfortable with a female doctor. However I'm happy to be treated by a male doctor for non sexual problems. I think to take away patient choice would result in lots of complaints, people should be allowed to feel comfortable when being treated by a doctor and if this involves a specific gender then so be it.
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    If patients are going to be sexist they shouldn't have the right to healthcare. It's disgusting. We're in the 21st century now, bigotry will get you nowhere.
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    On a slightly related topic, can Muslim doctors refuse to treat patients of the opposite sex?
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    Anything intimate and I would feel uncomfortable and awkward with a male doctor, and would rather be treated by a female, however if there were no females around I would be okay with being treated by a male, I would just rather have a female.
    If it was something like a cough, something not so intimate then a male would be more than welcome
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    (Original post by thesabbath)
    If patients are going to be sexist they shouldn't have the right to healthcare. It's disgusting. We're in the 21st century now, bigotry will get you nowhere.
    I don't think you can call it 'sexist'. Yes, it technically differentiates between men and women but that only becomes discriminative when there's no good reason for it, and patient comfort is as good a reason as any. Saying that choosing to be examined by a male doctor over a female one is sexist is like saying it's sexist for me to only want to have sex with women and not men. At such an intimate level, personal choice has to be respected.
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    (Original post by Theflyingbarney)
    I don't think you can call it 'sexist'. Yes, it technically differentiates between men and women but that only becomes discriminative when there's no good reason for it, and patient comfort is as good a reason as any. Saying that choosing to be examined by a male doctor over a female one is sexist is like saying it's sexist for me to only want to have sex with women and not men. At such an intimate level, personal choice has to be respected.
    equality says otherwise, what if a white woman refused to be treated by a black doctor because she found that "uncomfortable"? would that be okay?
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    Depends.

    Some people will be distressed, particularly with more intimate procedures, to have a person of one gender or another treating them. That's fair enough. You don't want to cause unnecessary distress to patient, so if possible that should be accommodated.

    I don't think it's at all reasonable if somebody says to their GP, for example, "you can't treat my runny nose, because you're a woman and doctors are supposed to be men". That's not distress, that being an ass.
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    I work in a hospital and patients have said to the nurse that they don't want me in here due to my gender.
    Personally, I'm not bothered about it, it's all about the patient and making them comfortable
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    When i use to have acne (bacne) i had to take my shirt off. It didnt really bother me either way to be honest, men showed little empathy.
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    (Original post by thesabbath)
    If patients are going to be sexist they shouldn't have the right to healthcare. It's disgusting. We're in the 21st century now, bigotry will get you nowhere.
    Just because your views conflict with someone else's doesn't mean you should be prohibited from basic health care until you conform.
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    I think it's great, we have a freedom of thought and speech.
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    (Original post by thesabbath)
    equality says otherwise, what if a white woman refused to be treated by a black doctor because she found that "uncomfortable"? would that be okay?
    My instinct is to say that's down to "being an ass", but maybe that's just because I can't imagine it being down to something other than prejudice.

    We have gender segregation, prohibitions against nudity (particularly in front of the opposite gender), and things like that conditioned into us from early childhood, so people feel uncomfortable when they violate that conditioning, even for medical reasons. Not to mention there is a pseudo-sexual element to some things. But this kind of discomfort is because the patient has to do something which is against their normal behaviour pattern, it's not directly to do with the gender of the doctor.

    We don't have similar conditioning about race. The patient isn't departing more or less from normal standards of behaviour depending on whether their doctor is black or white. So it's much less reasonable.

    That said, if possible indulge them. Like it or not, it's easier that way, and you never know maybe they will be genuinely distressed if you don't.
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    I believe at the NHS one can only specifically request a doctor of the same gender if one requires non-emergency treatment/consultation with regards to sexual or reproductive health (or broadly related problems).

    So by definition, yes, it is a sexist policy. I wouldn't say it's a particularly detrimental policy though, and, in my opinion, certainly not morally wrong. An individuals sovereignty over their own body means they can refuse treatment from anyone; even to refuse treatment from a racial motive isn't morally wrong. What would be wrong however, would be if the state legislated some law which unnecessarily precluded someone on a non-optional property (race or gender).

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    (Original post by thesabbath)
    equality says otherwise, what if a white woman refused to be treated by a black doctor because she found that "uncomfortable"? would that be okay?
    The below basically answers that better than I could:

    (Original post by CathyS)
    I personally would feel a lot more comfortable with a female gynaecologists, however this is not because I dislike male doctors. It's more to do with the fact that a female doctor has the same bits as me and I feel a lot calmer and comfortable with a female doctor. However I'm happy to be treated by a male doctor for non sexual problems. I think to take away patient choice would result in lots of complaints, people should be allowed to feel comfortable when being treated by a doctor and if this involves a specific gender then so be it.
    Basically, there's more of a reason for people to feel uncomfortable with doctors of a particular gender than those of a certain race.

    And to be honest, what reason would a doctor have to complain? They don't work on commission, so they're not losing any money from being asked not to treat a patient, so as long as a patient's not being openly offensive then they haven't suffered in any way.
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    not really, if a women doesn't feel comfortable with a man putting his hands on her genitals what can you do? Personally i would always want a female doctor during intimate examinations-they're uncomfortable enough with a female
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    Ultimately any patient has the right to refuse treatment for whatever reason they want. This is a basic human right about control of ones body.

    If a patient refuses treatment by a particular doctor (for any reason), then the hospital will reassign the patient to another doctor when that becomes convenient. The patient will go from the top of the pile for one doctor to the bottom of the pile for another. This will result in delays for the patient and this may have an adverse effect on their treatment, but this is the patient's choice to refuse treatment.
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    I always thought it was to protect the doctor as much as the patient.
 
 
 

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