The comments on the article got into a bunch of racial slandering. Curious to see what others in the profession think of this?
A male registered nurse and Vietnam war Army medic has sued the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, saying he was fired for disobeying a Muslim supervisor's order not to treat women wearing conservative Islamic dress.
John Benitez Jr. filed a sex discrimination suit Wednesday in Detroit U.S. District Court after getting the go-ahead from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a "right to sue" letter Oct. 19.
The Associated Press left phone and email messages during the Thanksgiving holiday seeking comment from Dearborn officials. The Detroit News said a Dearborn spokeswoman declined comment.
In a complaint filed on his behalf, his lawyer, Deborah L. Gordon, said Benitez joined Dearborn's Health Department in September 2010. The 63-year-old Madison Heights resident has a three-decade nursing career. Dearborn has a large Muslim community and one of the largest Arab immigrant communities in the U.S.
Soon after starting work, Gordon said a Muslim supervisor told Benitez to refer patients wearing hijab to her, rather than treating them himself.
The complaint said Benitez complied until Nov. 17, 2010, when a doctor saw what he was doing and questioned him "about the cumbersome and unusual practice of taking women wearing a head scarf to the nursing supervisor for care," rather than going ahead and treating them.
The complaint said Benitez then began complying with the new instruction that he treat women wearing hijab.
On Dec. 1, 2010, Gordon said Benitez was fired. She said he was told it was "not because of any performance problem, but was instead carried out because the clinic's conservative male Muslim clientele did not want a male treating female patients.
I see a huge problem here.
If the patient did not request a female nurse, he did no wrong. If they allowed him to treat them, he did not wrong.
It is discrimination for it to be policy that males flat out may not see female patients of a certain religion (or who dress a certain way). That is discriminatory against both RNs as men and the patients because it prejudices based on dress and assumed belief rather than treating them individually.
This firing was religiously motivated discrimination against the male nurse by his supervisor. I hope he sues the pants off the place.
Any patient can REQUEST same sex providers and refuse care if none is available. Patients can request If it is feasible and doesn't disrupt the care of others, such needs can be met. If a Muslim woman asks for a female nurse, doctor, or whatever, and none is available, they can wait or come back later.
We are nation of individuals with equal rights. We should stick to that ideal. Or we can take "cultural respect" from tolerance to enforced reverence. How about if a female nurse had been fired for treating a Muslim man without first covering her hair and face?
Last edit by SummitRN on Nov 27, '11
It sounds like the Muslim supervisor was taking it upon herself to choose on behalf of the patients without any input from them. This is not her place. She certainly should be ready to provide an alternative if a woman says she doesn't wish to have a male nurse. But the Muslim supervisor should not be making assumptions or stating her preference for them. No one should usurp the patient's decision making opportunity. If the female patient is capable of rational thought and expression, she should be allowed to choose for herself.
I'm guessing this might be a preemptive move on the part of the Muslim supervisor, but it could also be someone trying to keep fellow believers in line and not allowing them to make a "wrong" choice.
Looks like the male RN has a case.
Last edit by rn/writer on Nov 28, '11