A doctor in Great Britain is having a hard time finding work after he “politely” asked a Muslim mother to remove her niqab — a garment of clothing that only exposes the eyes — so he could hear her clearly explain her daughter’s symptoms.
Dr. Keith Wolverson, a family doctor, was practicing at Royal Stoke University Hospital in the walk-in center when he encountered the woman. As the Telegraph reports, the doctor, who has an unblemished record after 23 years of practice, said the woman consented to his request to temporarily remove the face covering without any problems.
Issues with his request only came after the woman’s husband learned of the incident and filed a formal complaint.
"I was just trying to do my job properly,” Wolverson told The Sun. “I found it difficult to understand what the woman was saying behind her veil, so politely asked her to remove it. I needed to hear what was wrong with her daughter, so I could offer the safest possible care.”
But the General Medical Council didn’t see it that way, and sent Wolverson a letter which stated he was under investigation for racism and could eventually be removed from his profession.
“I’m not racist. This is nothing to do with race, religion or skin color, it’s about clarity of communication,” he said. “I’ve treated many Muslim patients and never had a problem when I’ve asked women to remove their veil. Many do it as a courtesy as soon as they enter the consulting room.”
Since this experience, the family doctor says it has been impossible for him to secure work and is considering non-medical work, such as supplying Botox injections, just to pay his bills.
But Wolverson hasn’t been left without support. At least 57,000 people have signed a petition for him to be reinstated, but the doctor has been considering discontinuing his practice.
“This country will have no doctors left if we continue to treat them in this manner. I'm deeply upset,” he stated. “A doctor's quest to perform the very finest consultation for the safety of their patient has been misinterpreted in a duplicitous manner to suggest there has been an act of racism committed.”
"I absolutely no longer want to be doctor."