Referral to doctor for headscarf ban

The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians makes a reference to a Hessian doctor because he put a headscarf ban on Muslim patients on a poster in his practice.

A doctor had posted a note in his practice in Wächtersbach in Hesse, which was labeled "Rules of the Game". This notice read, among other things, that women are not allowed to wear headscarves. Now the family doctor had to answer for the proceedings before the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and received a reference for his poster. But it could have been a lot worse.

At the beginning of September this year, a Hessian doctor caused a nationwide sensation. In his doctor's office, a doctor from Wächtersbach in Hesse posted a poster with so-called “rules of the game”. These rules included notes that women are not allowed to wear headscarves during treatment. In addition, the doctor asked for sufficient basic knowledge of the German language. Families should also take no more than five children into practice. The association of Muslims and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians had subsequently described the notice as "reprehensible and absolutely unacceptable." The doctor apologized for the poster afterwards, but justified his action because in the past there had always been problems with Muslims The doctor later said and removed the notice board.

Nevertheless, the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians initiated a disciplinary procedure and now issued a reference. The reference is entered in the medical register and will remain in effect for exactly five years. Then the entry will be deleted. If there are no further violations, the family doctor has no further consequences to fear. As a spokeswoman for the medical association said, this is the "second-mildest punishment" that a medical committee can impose. Significantly severe sanctions would have been a fine or the withdrawal of approval. After such a measure, the doctor would have lost his health insurance license, which means that he should no longer have been able to treat people with statutory health insurance.

The committee considered the "mitigating circumstances" that the family doctor had now admitted his offense and made a public apology. In addition, the doctor made personal contact with the local Turkish-Islamic cultural association and also apologized there. At the hearing, the physician was able to demonstrate that he never seriously planned not to treat a patient because of his or her origin or religion. In doing so, he would have violated the Hippocratic oath to which all doctors must feel obliged. This states that a doctor must treat all people, regardless of their origin, reputation, gender, age or religion. So far, the doctor did not want to comment on the judgment.

Also read:
Doctor apologizes for headscarf ban
Criticism of headscarf ban in doctor's office
Doctor bans headscarf in his practice

Image: Jerzy Sawluk /
Author: sb

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