Women-Only Hospitals: Who Will Rule the Roost, Idealists or Pragmatists?

Lulwa Shalhoub, Arab News

JEDDAH, 1 February 2008 — Would having hospitals run exclusively by women — from doctors to janitors — be a better environment for women? This is a proposition that the Ministry of Health is currently studying.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, recently proposed the establishment of women-only hospitals during a symposium in Riyadh entitled “Applying religion in medical issues.” Describing intermingling of sexes at hospitals as a “disaster” that infringes upon the modesty of Muslim societies, the mufti said medical professionals should only treat patients of the same gender except in time of emergencies. . .

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