Doctors should not eat in front of Muslims during Ramadan

Posted on September 14, 2007

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by Joanna Sugden

Doctors and nurses in Scotland should refrain from eating in front of their Muslim patients and colleagues during the month of Ramadan according to the Scottish NHS.

Staff in hospitals north of the border were advised by the Scottish Executive and the Scottish NHS to avoid “working lunches” and to move food trolleys away from Muslim colleagues in the month when Islam forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours.

The guidance, also sent to teachers and police stations by a Scottish Muslim consultancy, includes pointers on how to accommodate staff observing Ramadan. Flexible working hours and time off to break the fast are recommended during the four weeks beginning on September 13.

Mary Scanlon, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing in the Scottish Parliament said the move was a “step too far” for political correctness and unnecessary. “Scotland is a very tolerant, sensitive and welcoming country” but she added, “I don’t see it’s necessary for Ramadan to affect the lives of people of other beliefs,” she told Times Online, “It would be like saying Protestants shouldn’t eat meat next to Catholics who want to eat fish on a Friday.” [more]

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