Nurse fired over treating Muslim women

  1. 3
    http://news.yahoo.com/nurse-says-fir...164322662.html


    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.
    Esme12, NurseCubanitaRN2b, and lindarn like this.
  2. 22,267 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 129 Comments so far...

  4. 13
    Ok, I don't see a problem here. He was told not to treat the muslim women, not as discrimination against him as a man, but out of respect of the muslim religion that states that women are not to touched by a man other than their husbands. He decided it was his right to treat these women against their religious beliefs, he wasn't fired because he was a man but because he went against his supervisors orders.
    MargaretMuslima, tewdles, Nurserton, and 10 others like this.
  5. 51
    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
    Sinman, SunshineSmile, himilayaneyes, and 48 others like this.
  6. 42
    If the story is accurate, the supervisor was dead wrong. It's one thing to say "if a female in hijab refuses you because you're a man, send her to me." It's quite another to say "don't treat any females in hijab."

    My area has a sizeable Muslim population. Hijab-wearing Muslim women generally prefer female doctors. If a female isn't available, some women will accept a male doctor, some will accept a male doctor if another female (or a male relative) is in the room, and some will wait for a female. But it has to be the patients choice, not the provider's.
  7. 20
    " 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."

    Uh, who cares what the male clientele wanted? Why would their views on this matter is any way? I don't understand why this was even mentioned. The patients in question are female. What they want is all that matters. Unless the patient requests a same sex provider then there is no problem what-so-ever with a male nurse seeing female patients.
    I have had several female patients ask to have a female nurse rather than me. It's fine, I understand. I am there to care for the patients and if my gender makes a patient uncomfortable then I am happy to find a female nurse if possible.
    fsh1986, KelRN215, TeleRN44, and 17 others like this.
  8. 9
    Sorry this is the USA, this is our culture. "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. " This quote tells it all, discrimination! The man is a great nurse, a veteran, I hope he sues the pants off them! What in the world would it matter what the male muslim clientele had to say? Nuts I say, nuts!
    How about the supervisor gets fired? Oh and make the supervisor take a sexual discrimination class.
    himilayaneyes, xtxrn, hoopschick, and 6 others like this.
  9. 14
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    Uh, who cares what the male clientele wanted? Why would their views on this matter is any way? I don't understand why this was even mentioned. The patients in question are female. What they want is all that matters.
    This type of Islam doesn't care what the patient thinks because they are female. Only the male's opinion matters. The female patient is their chattel, not a full person with rights. Apparently, the fired male nurse didn't respect that oppression to the liking of his patient's "owners"
    tewdles, mystory, FocusRN, and 11 others like this.
  10. 23
    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
    TeleRN44, GooeyRN, middleager, and 20 others like this.
  11. 6
    Sounds like a poorly managed office, wrongful termination, and petty behavior on the part of a control freak nursing supervisor who did not like being challenged by a physician and a nurse who followed the physician's request.

    If the female muslim clients can not have physical contact with any male other than their husband, why the heck would they go to the health department? If this is such a major issue, wouldn't there be a policy in place to protect the staff from allegations of innappropriate contact?
    SunshineSmile, Fiona59, lindarn, and 3 others like this.
  12. 6
    This isn't the land of Islam, this is the United States of America and we do things differently here. The supervisor was DEAD WRONG on her poor actions. If anybody needs to suffer some consequences it's her.

    If the female patient requests a female nurse, then that's her preference and right. But obviously she allowed the male nurse to exam her so that was HER CHOICE. The supervisor needs to separate work from her religion. Not everyone shares her beliefs. It's not about what the religious supervisor wants, or what the patients husband wants, IT'S ABOUT THE PATIENT. We as nurses are here for the patients and to care to their needs, the needs of others doesn't matter if it compromises that of the patients.


Top