Thousands support doctor suspended for asking Muslim patient to remove veil: 'Treat this man fairly'
Dr. Keith Wolverson has insisted that he only asked the woman to remove her niqab so he could hear her while he tried to diagnose her at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Tens of thousands of people have reportedly signed a petition supporting a doctor from Britain who faces losing his job after asking a woman to remove her veil while diagnosing her.
The doctor, 52-year-old Dr. Keith Wolverson, in his defense, has insisted that he only asked the woman to remove her niqab so he could hear her while he tried to diagnose her at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in June last year.
Wolverson, a primary doctor for 23 years, said: "I asked a lady to remove her face veil for adequate communication, in the same way I’d ask a motorcyclist to remove a crash helmet," the Independent reported.
He had previously told the Daily Mail that he was not a racist and the incident had nothing to do with race, religion or skin color.
The woman, who has not been identified, however, complained and now Wolverson says he is "fearful of the consequences" of a formal investigation by the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) as well as a racial discrimination inquiry. The doctor has reportedly been suspended for the duration of the probe.
“I’m a little bit sad the country has been committed to depths such as this," the doctor said.
News of the investigation resulted in a change.org petition titled "Stop Dr Wolverson getting fired." The petition had over 101,927 signatures as of Sunday evening.
The petition reportedly seeks to "save this man's reputation."
The creator of the petition said: "I believe he acted in the best interest of the child involved and there was no racist or religious discrimination in his actions. We need to ensure the General Medical Council treat this man fairly and look at all the evidence. I believe he acted in the best interest of the child involved and there was no racist or religious discrimination in his actions."
"We need to ensure the General Medical Council treat this man fairly and look at all the evidence," the creator added.
“I have been absolutely bowled over by the support,” Wolverson said. “I am going to fight it until the bitter end.”
The Doctors Association also reportedly called on the GMC to issue "clear guidelines to protect both doctors and our patients."
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