I'm probably going to regret starting this thread, but this is a question I've been pondering over for a while now- since I saw a thread discussing a nurse who was put in a difficult position by having to assume responsibility for a racist patient who refused her care. Hopefully no one on this forum disagrees that refusing care from a healthcare professional based on skin color is unquestionably wrong. However, it seems a lot of people disagree on whether a woman can refuse healthcare from a man. It seems obvious to me that there are many situations in which a woman would rather have a female take care of her, and in which that would be perfectly okay. Most requests of this kind involve a procedure in which a degree of vulnerability is assumed- I'm pretty sure no one's ever said she won't have a man do her charting or something like that :) Sexual assault victims, for example, could be distressed by a man's touch or even his presence. Is it discrimination to refuse care from a man in that case? What if you were an Orthodox Jewish woman or a practicing Muslim woman who would, for religious reasons and modesty rules, prefer a female healthcare provider if they were to be touched or have to undress? What if you just don't want a strange man to see parts of your body that you keep private, even in a completely professional capacity, and that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe? I've seen people on here mention being refused by a patient for whatever reason, and who have gracefully arranged to have a colleague step in instead to avoid problems. I've also seen arguments over whether or not a female patient has the right to refuse a male healthcare provider and seen what seems to be a lot of anger and annoyance that people have that choice and make it- and not just from men. As a woman, if a man under my care said he'd rather have a man perform certain procedures I can't imagine why I would be angry at all, unless perhaps he was denigrating my capability or something like that? I just can't understand why the gender preference matter seems so wrong to some people. If a male wants a male caregiver, or a female wants a female caregiver, who are we to decide that their choice is unworthy or assume that it is based on some kind of negative gender assumption and not just their personal comfort level with the opposite sex?