British Medical Association Backs Use of Sterile Hijabs and Turbans by Doctors in Surgery

June 30, 2005

Source: The Guardian,11381,1517680,00.html

On June 30, 2005 The Guardian reported, "Hospitals should provide a new range of sterile headwear to allow doctors to observe religious traditions without risking the spread of MRSA and other infections, the BMA decided yesterday. They should include 'theatre hijabs' made from material that could be easily sterilised, allowing Muslim women doctors to cover their faces during an operation and discard the garment afterwards. Sterile turbans and headwear suitable for the followers of other religious faiths should also be available, the association's conference in Manchester said. Sabrina Talukdar, 21, a medical student at St Andrews University, said some Muslim women experienced problems when observing or assisting in surgery and had been told to remove their hijabs, even if they had put on a clean one. 'The "theatre hijab" would simply be a square piece of sterile theatre cloth, secured with pins, which can be worn in conjunction with a surgical mask for those only wanting to expose their eyes.'"