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Muslim nurses get the right of DO Islam rules more important than hygiene rules

The hospital requires all healthcare professionals to have naked forearms for hygiene reasons. The Muslim under-nurse reported the hospital to the Ombudsman for Discrimination. Now she is entitled to DO, writes Dagens Juridik.


  • The Muslim woman had been employed as a nurse at the maternal ward at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm.Immediately she was informed that long-sleeved clothes should not be used as a result of hospital hygiene rules. The woman then wanted to use removable disposable arms to shield men, but was also denied it.The woman felt discriminated against because of her religion and reported the hospital to the Ombudsman for Ombudsman, DO.Now DO is on the woman’s line, says Dagens Juridik.

    The hospital has clarified that the staff must work with the forearm for the sake of hygiene, for patient safety reasons. But that does not mean DO. Such rules are only ok if there is a “legitimate purpose”.

    According to the Ombudsman for Ombud, there is nothing in the National Board of Health’s regulations or in the Stockholm County Council’s basic hygiene routines that exclude the use of single-use protective clothing as long as they are exchanged between each patient.

    “According to the DO’s assessment, these regulations and hygiene routines do not therefore prevent SÖS from allowing healthcare professionals to wear disposable arms for religious reasons in cases where risk assessment shows that it is acceptable,” he writes.

    The authority thus gives the Muslim woman the right to point out that it violates the anti-discrimination law to “systematically refuse workers to use disposable monitors in situations where such prohibition is not borne by hygiene and contraception.”

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