Did you hear the fact that male doctors in Bahrain must use a mirror and can not look upon the genitals of their female patients while examining them? It’s claimed that using a mirror is permitted because they are not looking directly at the sensitive area. Their hands are permitted to do what they need to do. Apparently the law was introduced because of their strict religious guidelines.
That’s the claim anyway, and it has been circulating online for around a decade now. So is there any truth to it?
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Believe us when we say we have searched, searched and searched online for any reference to any such law forcing gynecologists in Bahrain to use a mirror while examining female patients. Alas there has been none. Well, nothing concrete that is reliable. Most sources make the claim in a single line, single sentence fact with no reference at all.
There are a couple of things in the claim that raise our suspicious eyebrows. Firstly, the practicality of the law. Even the most hard line of religious fanatics would realise that a doctor has the health of the patient at hand. But even more importantly, and glaringly obvious, is the complete lack of western perseverance and pressure on Bahrain over any such law. If it were true not only would several health organisations be raisin awareness to this issue, but many human and woman’s rights groups would be making very verbal protests about it.
After spending quite a bit of time researching this claim we have attempted to contact the Bahrain embassy in our country to clarify the claims. As to date we have received no reply. While it certainly is possible that doctors in Bahrain have to use a mirror, the likelihood of any such law existing is remote. Apart from it being totally and completely impracticable for male Bahrain gynecologist to use a mirror, the international outrage and political pressure would soon force a change of policy. So, until we get some form of confirmation from Bahrain itself we will declare this as an urban legend.