Friday, January 12, 2007

Demands for a Muslim Health Service

The BBC has a revealing title for one of its news stories today, this being ‘Call for faith-based NHS services’. The interesting thing is that the faith referred to throughout is exclusively Islam. No other faith is demanding apartheid in the UK’s provision of health services, but the BBC dare not single out Islam. The Sun, however, doesn’t seem too bothered.

Apparently, the NHS should provide more faith-based care for Muslims because ‘Muslims are about twice as likely to report poor health and disability than the general population’. The BBC states this, without providing the scientific explanation for the fact, doubtless because it does not wish to offend, cause riots, or have any of its staff murdered.

According to Edinburgh University's Professor Aziz Sheikh, Muslims are ‘predominantly congregated in the inner city slums, have the lowest household income, poorest educational attainment, and highest unemployment and experience more poverty than any other faith community’.

The disproportionate ‘poor health’ and ‘disability’ among Muslims is also a genetic manifestation resulting from strict adherence to Shari’a stipulations. The socio-political demand for marriages between close relations diminishes the gene pool, with all the consequent health problems that this produces. The inheritors of the Judeo-Christian ethic of who should and should not marry are now subsidising those who repudiate the ethical and biological principles of these regulations. Muslims, it seems, now want a Muslim Health Service within the NHS, with its focus on the particular sensitivities of its religio-political worldview.

The immediate demands are for male circumcision, non-alcoholic medicines and disinfectants, and the eradication of anything porcine. They also request a strict segregation of sexes, with the right to be treated by or operated upon by a clinician of the same gender. In addition, Muslims ‘should be given better access to prayer facilities and advice over how they should modify their treatment for chronic conditions during Ramadan’. Some NHS trusts already have ‘multi-faith’ prayer rooms, which are predominantly organised to accommodate Muslim sensitivities.

And the irony? While the NHS has been rigorously cleansing its temple of Christian symbols, Gideon’s Bibles, and Christian chapels, ‘for fear of offending ethnic minorities’, those same minorities are now simply moving to fill the spiritual void.

Cranmer wonders how a hospital for Jehovah’s Witnesses would be sensitive to their repudiation of blood transfusion, or a hospital for African Muslims would be sensitive to their demands for female circumcision. Since the state has not even defined ‘faith’ or ‘religion’, Cranmer foresees an NHS which has nothing to do with the provision of health care according to clinical need, and everything to do with form-filling and data-gathering to ensure adherence to the plethora of faith-healing religious observances which now permeate the land.

If any of Cranmer’s communicants are aware of the healthcare sensitivities of the Jedi Knight fraternity, he would be most appreciative of the information. At the very least, the question of receiving treatment on Yoda’s birthday is in urgent need of deliberation.


Blogger wonkotsane said...

Special treatment for other religions is offensive to followers of Wonkism. I demand that my spiritual rights be respected and a special Wonkite Temple be built in every hospital.

12 January 2007 at 14:20  
Anonymous newmania said...

The disproportionate ‘poor health’ and ‘disability’ among Muslims is also a genetic manifestation resulting from strict adherence to Shari’a stipulations

That strikes me as a highly dubious statement.My hair always stands on end when I hear a vague sub Darwinian theory. Really !!

They have a somewhat inglorious history ( the theories)

12 January 2007 at 15:11  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

I've also heard that in-breeding leads to higher rates of sight or hearing problems. I thought that was a fact rather than Darwinian theory!!

This post depresses me, espacially in the light of your coverage of halal meat and no pork in school dinners, just to satisfy the needs of Islam. I suppose the good thing is that Muslims aren't united on this - I'm sure a lot of them find it a strange demand. In fact, I think some of the younger generation would positively reject an Islamic health care in favour of the mainstream one. East is East?

12 January 2007 at 15:40  
Anonymous dexey said...

Your Grace

Are Jedi Knights not more fratricidal than fraternal?

I use the multi faith room in my local hospital fairly regularly in the expectation that prayer is all that stands between me and MSRA. I would prefer that each faith had its own prayer room and that mine was a chapel.
I am due a major operation in February in a neighbouring health trust where a muslim will be wielding the knife. If he wants to take over the multi faith room I won't be complaining until after the op.

12 January 2007 at 15:42  
Anonymous newmania said...

in-breeding leads to higher rates of sight or hearing problems

It is a fact inbreeding is more rather than less dangerous than its myth. Is it actually true then that Muslims are more inbred than anyone else ? It seems a quite astonishing thing to say about a community of that size.

How does this work the taboo on incest is universal for very good reasons

12 January 2007 at 16:03  
Anonymous Old Gobbo said...

According to Newsnight 55% of British Pakistanis are married to their first cousins. One could perhaps argue that it is as much a cultural as a religious phenomenon, but they are overwhelmingly Muslim, and they constitute the vast bulk of Muslims in Britain, so it's fair to say that inbreeding is a problem in the Muslim community here. As a result of this inbreeding British Pakistanis are 13 times more likely than the general population to have children born with genetic disorders.

12 January 2007 at 16:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Rather a sense of humour has our Prof of Epidemiology across The Border. If we did as he proposed it would not be a National Health Service at all but a Sub-Pool for Insurance and I doubt one could expect 60 million people to pay a levy to provide duplicate or "separate but equal" (as the South Africans used to say) facilities.

I really wonder how these poor rapid-breeder inner-city populations of sick Muslims would pay the premia for their separate facilities, and whether they would like separate Medicines and treatment from their co-religionists.

It is an amusing debating point that i rank alongside All-White Wards and only being treated by members of the CMF. I can see great advantages, but I do confess there are some excellent doctors trained in India and I realise one or two Muslim doctors are good too and I fear they would see themselves as second-class if they had to work only with very sick and inarticulate ghee-butter permeated Muslims rather than sprightly fun-loving Anglo-Saxons.

It sems a bit of a non-starter unless these patients relocate - I believe there are countries that cater exclusively to Muslims and they must have the ideal medical facilities.

12 January 2007 at 16:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

As a result of this inbreeding British Pakistanis are 13 times more likely than the general population to have children born with genetic disorders.

That's why they make so many copies in each family. Please don't ask Bradford Hospitals Trust for a breakdown of the maternity unit by ethnic composition.........they would be terribly embarrassed that those White women have such low productivity.........but at least their offspring don't have rotten teeth and sugar addiction

12 January 2007 at 16:43  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

I think Stan/Loretta may present difficulties over the 'same sex doctor' demand.

12 January 2007 at 17:53  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

There is already evidence that the NHS is sensitive to religious beliefs. Anaemic Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse blood transfusion are given access to the drug erythropoetin which is denied to members of other faiths (except those with renal failure) as it costs four times as much as a blood transfusion.

Until recently enquiring on the website of the National Blood Authority about bloodless surgery (popular among those who fear AIDS or mad-cow disease) took enquirers directly to the JW site.

Professor Terry Hamblin

12 January 2007 at 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just heard on Newsnight Review:

"Christmas is over, but the Christian message lives on in the world of culture"

(introducing a piece about The Gospel According to Judas).

I am without words.

12 January 2007 at 23:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Muslims are about twice as likely to report poor health and disability than the general population’

If it's true, then they should give it up or commit to change before treatment. After all that's what smokers are made to do.

12 January 2007 at 23:33  
Anonymous Brummie said...

I predict a riot.

13 January 2007 at 01:55  
Anonymous Voyager said...

'Muslims are about twice as likely to report poor health and disability than the general population’

paranoid schizophrenia methinks

13 January 2007 at 07:18  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Cranmer - story about Muslim special treatment in prisons, at the taxpayers' expense:,,2-2007020177,00.html

13 January 2007 at 10:02  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Not your best link Ulster Man - I fear it is a cul de sac

13 January 2007 at 22:31  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Though I do not normally favour privatisation in the NHS I think an exception, perhaps, should be made for our fellow Abrahamians. A special need necessitates a special account. A lack of funds in said account might concentrate the minds of said account holders.

14 January 2007 at 21:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in favour of much more choice in health care. Thus those with special requests, could pay the extra and get what they want. It would get rid of special pleading.

On the subject of inbreeding, I think we should make cousin marrying illegal, it is a form of child abuse, such is the difference in the risk of disabilities and other health problems.

15 January 2007 at 09:55  
Blogger Bernard said...

Historically, Muslims have interbred for the simple fact of their ancient occupation of 'desert lands'. Agriculture was concentrated around isolated oasis's and there was little opportunity to out-breed.
Nothing to do with religeon.

16 January 2007 at 22:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernard - it doesn't wash. Pakistan is not Arabia.

And anyway they have no trouble collecting at least 3 other "wives" apart from their first cousin, where do they get them from ?

17 January 2007 at 14:08  

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