Netherlands: Female patients have right to refuse male doctor

Female patients have a right to refuse a male doctor, according to new guidelines by KNMG, the Dutch physicians organization, put out after an incident in a hospital in Amersfoort.

A pregnant Muslim woman did not want to be treated by a male gynecologist and was brought to another doctor.

The KNMG thinks that hospitals, except for acute emergency cases, should do their best to meet the woman's wishes.

Some doctors think their trade organization caters too mush to Muslim's wishes, reports the NOS.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

See also: Flanders: Refusing male gynecologists, Netherlands: Muslim women and health care , Netherlands: Health care not a problem with Muslim women


FreeSpeech said...

Well, that's discrimination on gender for the doctor. Against human rights, I'd say

Anonymous said...

I would say that as a man I will chose female doctor. they are more gentle and they understand easy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Freespeech!
what you would prefer male or female doctor if you had to chose? or you like them to chose for you?

Anonymous said...

As long as everyone has this right and it is not an emergency I do not see the problem. This is the way it is in America.

Esther said...


The only related story that I found in the US is this

A male physician should not see a Muslim woman patient alone. Her husband, father or brother should be there, or if that’s not possible, another woman.

Anonymous said...

Dear Esther!
for some reason you are thinking that all news are coming to you were in fact you search can not exceed your laptop.
you are missing on local news papers in US and court cases. 303 million nation can not and will not be examined by Internet search.

USA is bigger and more liberal than Europe

Esther said...


I am making an assumption that if this would be the 'norm' in the US, then a Muslim doctor wouldn't have to explain that a male doctor can't be alone with a female patient.

The story here is not about women choosing female doctors. That is not a problem anywhere. The story is about Muslim women who, in most cases come to a hospital to give birth, and their husbands refuse to have them treated by a male doctor.

The US is slightly different than Europe, since there's no nationalized health care. I would still expect such a story to make national news.

In the case of gynecologists, the preferance for a male or female doctor seems quite obvious to me, and the KNMG guideline here does not really add anything new to what is already the case in most hospitals.

The question is how far you go when there is no male/female doctor available, or when you need emergency medical care. There have been several stories in Belgium and the Netherlands, where a woman was put at risk because her husband refused a male doctor. Again, I expect such a story to make national news in the US.

Anonymous said...

Dear Esther,
it will not. In US there is Mormon , conservative Lutheran Christian organization... so no one wants to open Pandora books.

Looking to the good side this should encourage more females to became medical doctors/ nurses/medical stuff/ researchers in the futures.