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12/11/2008 10:53 PM ID: 75453 Permalink   

"Patient Dies Twice" According to Son In Law


A gunshot victim was hospitalized in BC and then had his beard shaved. According to the victims son in law, "My father in law -- he's been killed twice," says Surjit Singh. "To me, his pride, his honour, his belief everything taken away from him."

After being admitted at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit, an overnight staff who is from out of province went on to shave the patient who happened to be Sikh. This was in November when a 70-year-old was shot in a robbery.

In Sikhism, the beard is of utmost importance. Sikhs don't shave their hair from birth to death. This was a mistake and the hospital has apologized and has sent memos to all other ICUs in the region to avoid this from happening again. The nurse is very sorry.

    WebReporter: isuzu Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
more than half the world knew this about this religion.
  by: captainjane     12/11/2008 11:00 PM     
Well thats very true, however; someone will come here and start ranting about "They should go back to where they came from"

In this case though, I believe it was an honest mistake. Ujjal Singh Dosanjh the first Indian and Sikh Prime Minister of British Columbia is currently Canada's health minister, comes from this province.
  by: isuzu     12/11/2008 11:11 PM     
  You would think...  
a nurse would know better!
  by: captainjane     12/11/2008 11:19 PM     
So if he was to have came to the ER with a facial laceration or other injury to his face would the hospital have to just not perform an procedure and let infection or death occur depending on the severity?
  by: TaraB     12/11/2008 11:21 PM     
"Nurse is very sorry."

Seriously.. if a guy had a beard that long, common sense would suggest that he probably didn't shave regularly and it was meant to be that way.
  by: fadedroses   12/12/2008 12:28 AM     
If that was his wish, then yes. At least in the states - not sure how it works overseas. Your religious beliefs (like those who don't believe in 'medicine' - the ones who let their children die rather than let them get a blood transfusion, etc.) will supercede.
  by: vash_the_stampede     12/12/2008 12:46 AM     
"like those who don't believe in 'medicine' - the ones who let their children die rather than let them get a blood transfusion, etc."

Right right.. I wonder if that's how THEY see it. These primitive animal-like human beings.. they should just have their children and rights taken away without question, and their cults shut down once and for all.
While we're at it, we should just charge parents with religious objection to vaccinations with manslaughter and get the inevitable over with early.
  by: fadedroses   12/12/2008 01:10 AM     
  @ fadedroses  
They trim the beard, they dont let it grow wizard like ot the floor :). They just dont shave it off or trim it very short.
  by: ssxxxssssss   12/12/2008 01:11 AM     
Aye, that's what I meant. He'd probably just trim or groom it, whatever men do to their beards.. but if I'm not mistaken, a beard of any significance takes some time to grow which would suggest that he probably hadn't shaved it completely in a very, very long time.

The nurse probably thought he was either a senile old man who couldn't take care of himself and the beard was grown out of neglect, or he was just homeless and didn't have the facilities to regularly manage his face.

It's unfortunate but I don't believe the "very sorry" nurse is to blame in any way.
  by: fadedroses   12/12/2008 01:20 AM     
  @ Vash  
I can respect that if he was awake and able to speak. What if he wasn't? I know that we shaved hair, faces, chests and other areas if we had to have a clean access to it. In the ER our first priority is to stabalize the victim and if he was unconscious we would have no idea if his beard was for religious or just preference. Maybe carrying a card saying it is against my religion to shave, to accept blood, etc should be kept on people who have specific wishes?
  by: TaraB     12/12/2008 01:29 AM     
If he wasn't awake, then his lifetime of dedication to keeping his beard/facial hair should be enough of an answer to the staff assuming the nurse knew that he was a Sikh. Granted, the nurse likely didn't know that he practiced Sikhism, so I don't blame the nurse. Perhaps a 'religion' card is needed, just like a donor card, to let people know your intents in case of incapacitation?
  by: vash_the_stampede     12/12/2008 02:08 AM     
  This man was robbed and shot,  
yet more attention is being paid to the fact that his beard was shaved to preserve the sanitary environment required for his safety and, perhaps, his life.
If his beard is that important to his god then let him go to church and have his wound cared for.

It is rediculous to assert that a hospital must train it's staff or compromise it's sanitary safeguards for fear of violating someones peculiar religious ritual.
What if there was bacteria in this man's beard which infiltrated the gunshot wound, thereby causing his death from an infection? I suppose the hospital is still to blame.

  by: bbeljefe     12/12/2008 03:22 AM     
  @ Vash  
I think a card would be a great idea. From my years on the job I have learned to carry papers with me not only about allergies and meds I am taking but I have a personal pain scale because I have a higher tolerance than many, I have a list of all my Dr's, who should be contacted and what Dr's I will not let work on me. That last part comes from knowing if so and so is on shift you might rather take the chance of dying :-/
  by: TaraB     12/12/2008 03:29 AM     
That is why I asked. If I had a patient presented with lifethreatening or possible danger of infection I would and have shaved beards, hair, chest, hair and even pubic hair at times. That is why I was wondering if maybe someone is THAT much against it that they would carry something with them to say they are against it and would then let staff know not to touch it even though it might mean infection or death.
  by: TaraB     12/12/2008 03:32 AM     
  You have a good point Tara but...  
Knowing this information and knowing the health risks should the hospital turn the patient away or risk the spread of infection, perhaps to other patients?

  by: bbeljefe     12/12/2008 03:44 AM     
I have had to let people sign out AMA because of their religious beliefs even if meant that they might die. I never liked it, but I had no other option. JW is a good example, there were many JW's that I had walk out AMA that I wish I could have strapped down or strapped their children down to do what was needed to make them better. I admit if I was unaware of this mans religion I would have shaved his beard and mustache off not only for his safety, but the cleanliness of the patient with the care he would be recieving.
  by: TaraB     12/12/2008 03:56 AM     
You are so adamant at pointing out health and hygiene, as though having a unshaved face, makes you dirty or a disease carrier, which is not only so bias, it is simply wrong attitude.

Here you have a segment of people, who have chosen to abide by their rules, but to you thats dirty, unkempt group of people! Because of facial hair! Kamaan!!

Maybe it is time you start opening your mind to 1000's of other cultures and religions so that you can be accepted as one of US. Human that is.

@TaraB. I bet you a dollar, if it were a jewish boy/man, who would come to the hospital with skull cap and the locks dangling from the side of his face, even if you had to shave him, you'd ask 1st wouldnt you? Only because of fear of having sued.

This is how Sikh looks like at all times

Click on the arrow to understand the difference, between clean and unkempt homeless man.
  by: isuzu     12/12/2008 03:29 PM     

He did not come to the hospital with facial wounds, or a pimple on his forehead that needed to be busted, or simply a pimple somewhere else in that matter. He was shot. Not in the face.
  by: isuzu     12/12/2008 03:36 PM     
I understand you seem upset or think I was being a smartass when I was asking my question. I am not. I personally wouldn't care how clean cut ones facial hair was or not, I was saying if a patient came in with a facial wound (not a pimple and if he couldn't pop it himself I was way too busy on shift to deal with that) the very last thing on my mind would be to ask this patient "Maybe I shave your face?" In fact in all reality unless I was told specifically by someone not to do this or that my first thought is saving the patients life not if they have facial hair, caps, or can accept other blood products. And I could care less if it was a full facial beard or a simple goatee if Dr said he needed it gone (again we are going by no card, no awareness) It would be gone. If I had no prior awareness I am sorry but MY job as a nurse was Trauma/ER and that would be my first care.
As for the staff nurses on floors. The family should have filled out papers and had it stated on there please do not do X, X or X. In the States they ask your religion and if there is anything they could do or need not do due to your religious preferences.

Again I do not mean any disrespect but where I worked saving your life would be my #1 priority.
  by: TaraB     12/12/2008 06:02 PM     
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