Sweden: Woman granted 75,000 in compensation after refusing to shake doctor's hand

Sweden: Woman granted 75,000 in compensation after refusing to shake doctor's hand
Because of her faith, the Muslim woman chose to place her hand on her heart instead of shaking hands. When the doctor refused to carry out the examination, the woman was awarded 75,000 SEK in compensation for discrimination, SvD reports.

Along with the ombudsman against discrimination (DO) the woman sued the doctor's health care company for discrimination. Now Hässleholm District Court has sentenced the company to pay 75,000 SEK ($8,600) in compensation for having discriminated against the woman because of her religion.

According to the woman, the doctor demanded that the two would greet each other by a handshake, saying that this is how we greet each other in Sweden. The doctor denies this and explains that the lack of examination was because there was an intimidating atmosphere in the examination room because the woman's husband was present - something the interpreter who was there did not agree upon.

Anna Rose Mueller Nordlander, litigator at DO, welcomes the Court's ruling.

- The verdict shows that this is discrimination. Being denied an examination because of that, for religious reasons not wanting to shake the doctors hand, is discrimination and it is not acceptable, she says and continues:

- Health Care must be able to adapt to that there are different ways to greet. It should not be determinative of whether to receive care or not.

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