Monday, October 23, 2006

Emulate the Ostrich

Otherwise the French might discover a problem they have:

PARIS, Oct 21, 2006 (AFP) - The agency in charge of Paris-region hospitals on Saturday confirmed that the husband of a Muslim woman examined by a male gynecologist had physically attacked the doctor, but refused to confirm allegations that the assault was motivated by religious extremism.

....However the agency refused to endorse a statement by the professional association of French gynecologists and obstetricians, who described the assault as a manifestation of "Muslim fundamentalism."

The statement by the CNGOF professional association mentioned a similar incident that occurred in a Paris-region hospital in 2003.

In both attacks, gynecologists were "physically attacked and injured by the husbands of patients on the grounds that as male doctors they should not examine their wives," the statement said.

However the hospital authorities said they had "not at this stage confirmed any religious motivation" behind the latest incident.

French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand on Friday condemned the September incident, but also said he could not confirm that it was related to "religious or cultural motives."

"Hospitals must remain absolutely neutral from the religious and ideological point of view," he said.

The hospital agency said that a total of 185 violent incidents had been recorded in the 38 Paris-region public hospitals in 2005, up from 145 in the previous year.

However the hospital authorities did not record whether there was any religious motive to any of the attacks, because "such records would be discriminatory, and we have a neutral position," the statement said.

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