Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Can medical doctors treat opposite sex?

Doctor in lab coat extending hand

Salam aleykum brothers and sisters,

I am a medical student, and wondering how a medical doctor should behave towards patients of opposite sex. Through the study of medicine, students explore and learn about the opposite sex, and have to examine it also. In the professional field of medicine, especially in non-Islamic, and also in Islamic countries, doctors are expected to examine the opposite sex. There might be some exceptions, some I do not know about, but should that mean that there shouldn't be medical doctors in those fields of medicine? I am afraid to be indulged in haram things, and afraid for zinah.

But in Islam, as a medical doctor in future, how far can a medical doctor go as long as he or she holds niyat in right way? And not only what the Islamic criteria are for doctors, but how should medical doctors treat opposite sex in countries where that is a totally normal thing? in Emergency, for learning, for GP's, for surgeons. And the big question; can a man be a gynechologist?


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5 Responses »

  1. Alsmalu Aleikum brother , congrats on entrance to med school and I commend you for trying to avoid haram in you're life. Although I'm not a med student, but I've always wondered about your question just for curiousity.Here's what I found on islamicqa. Info.

    Praise be to Allaah.
    A question similar to yours was put to the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas, headed by Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him). It reads as follows:

    I am a student in the faculty of medicine and next year we will be covering the subject of gynaecology and obstetrics. I want to ask the following:

    (a) Is it permissible for me to attend the practical classes in which women’s bodies may be uncovered?

    (b) Is it permissible for a male doctor to specialize in gynaecology and obstetrics, or is this only for female doctors?

    They replied: If there is a sufficient number of female specialists in gynaecology and obstetrics, then it should be limited to them and it is not permissible for you to study it, or to look at the ‘awrahs of women when training, whether that is examining them or doing surgery on them. But if there are not enough women specializing in gynaecology to do what is essential in this field, and there is a need for Muslims to specialize in it, then it is permissible for you to study it and you have a concession allowing you to see whatever you need to see to examine women and do operations.

  2. Assalaamualaikam

    Congratulations on getting into medical school and working towards a job where you can help save lives every day. It's hard work, but totally worth the struggle.

    My understanding is that it is appropriate for male and female doctors to provide emergency care or to work in a field treating the opposite sex if there is a shortage of specialists of that sex, but that we should ensure we maintain appropriate boundaries outside of clinical contact and ensure we are acting professionally and in a manner befitting our faith within clinical contact.

    So, it may not be possible for a female surgeon to wear her hijab within the operating theatre (or even on some wards), but that wouldn't mean she shouldn't wear it the rest of the time.

    Just make sure you act appropriately, avoid unnecessary contact, and take a chaperone when examining members of the opposite sex (this is advisable anyway). When you, inshaAllah, qualify and start working, you may be able to come to an arrangement with colleagues to have male junior doctors examining male patients and females examining females - this seems to go down quite well with the patients as well.

    Given the intimate contact needed in O+G, you may wish to consider other specialty options as well; you might find one that has the interesting bits without the intimate bits.

    May Allah grant you success in your efforts, and strength to keep to His guidance.

    Midnightmoon editor

  3. asaalamu alaikum

    brother if you cannot learn all specialities you will not finish medical residency period.You are thinking wayyy too deep into this. I mean really, the job of a nurse and doctor is to treat a patient so that they will be able to live with disease if it cannot be cured and to treat the patient with dignity and respect. If you are having moral dilemmas about treating patients due to sexual feelings and that supercedes your need to want to help the person no matter the medical issue. i seriously question your efficacy at being a doctor in the future. this shouldnt even be an issue. did you not think of this before considering becoming a doctor?

    im a nurse and from a strict muslim family and my father was an obstetrician for over 30 years. the last thing you will be worried about when you are seeing a65 year old woman's genitals or a woman giving birth is sexual desire.

    i have given digital exams for prostate cancer, seen all types of men naked to due assessments,everything i have seen i mean EVERYTHING. FITNAH was not even a factor.

    for the safety of patients which is the standard of medical practice which is to be the patients's advocate we take an oath to due no harm...refusing the opposite sex you are doing harm. a patient shouldnt have to wait for a female and waiting can cause health issues.

    you know there are some doctors who would refuse to give patient's critical drugs and not answer their phones because it was prayer time? guess what they are sacked! not only that they lose their license. being a muslim also means to do what allah swt would want us to do is be rational. to me being a nurse is a form of charity and a doctor as well. you are providing to the less fortunate and those in need. if you are having moral dilemmas about being a doctor and i hate to sound harsh..stop now. we dont need doctors in the field that are refusing or having issues with dealing with all types of people and it severely affects patient care and outcome.

    open your mind. You are there to help people in the first place


    • Very well said, agree 100%.
      I'm in planning to became a nurse in the future and this issue has never even came to my mind. Why it should?
      Patient is patient male or female it doesn't matter in this kind of job. This profession doesn't (shouldn't have) make differences between an opposite sex.
      Fitna or haram is the last thing one should think about in this kind of profession.

    • ayatbinthamza: i have given digital exams for prostate cancer, seen all types of men naked to due assessments,everything i have seen i mean EVERYTHING. FITNAH was not even a factor.

      Have you done that in a Muslim country. Things can get really difficult in countries where women are not even allowed to expose their faces in public.

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