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Doctor Could Lose License Because He Was Trying To Help Muslim Woman's Child

Jeff Katz
May 22, 2019 - 5:18 pm

A doctor in Great Britain is under investigation for racism and could be forced out of his job after he "politely" asked a Muslim mother to remove her niqab — an Islamic face veil that exposes only the eyes — so he could better hear her describe her daughter's suspected tonsillitis.

Keith Wolverson — a general practice family doctor  — was working at a walk-in center at Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent at the time of the encounter in 2018 and said the woman consented without any objection.

Wolverson added, however, that the women's husband showed up later and issued a formal complaint — which indicated the mother said she felt "victimized and racially discriminated against" and that Wolverson was "rude" and "gave her a dirty look."

The family also claimed that Wolverson refused to continue the consultation until she removed her niqab, which he denied.

Wolverson then received a letter from the General Medical Council saying he's under investigation for racism and could be kicked out of the profession.

Wolverson later told The Sun, "I'm not racist — this is nothing to do with race, religion, or skin color; it's about clarity of communication. I found it difficult to understand what the woman was saying behind her veil, so [I] politely asked her to remove it. I needed to hear what was wrong with her daughter, so I could offer the safest possible care."

He also said most of his Muslim patients immediately remove the veil themselves when they enter the consultation room and that the investigation has been a "major injustice" and that he "absolutely no longer" wants to be a doctor.