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dragonxx

Women and choice of career.. and plastic surgery

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From the Shia point of view, is a woman allowed to go into careers where she knows she will have to touch men in order to get the appropriate training, such as being a doctor, physiotherapist, etc.?

If allowed, is it liked, disliked, or neutral?

Do you think a woman who chooses to, for example, be a surgeon in the West, is less modest than someone who avoids that and opts to be a pharmacist just to avoid men?

And about the wealthy married woman who does not need to work, should she be encouraged or discouraged to take up a job where there are lots of interactions/conversations with males (without physical contact)?

On the flip side, what of the man who decides to go into plastic surgery, and focuses his career on doing buttock/breast augmentation, abdominoplasty etc. Is this allowed? 

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@dragonxx are you looking for liberal 'open minded' views or straight up Halal vs Haram? 

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20 hours ago, dragonxx said:

is a woman allowed to go into careers where she knows she will have to touch men in order to get the appropriate training, such as being a doctor, physiotherapist, etc.?

Not permissible. Not sure if it's haraam level non permissible but it's not allowed for women to look at and touch non mehram men under normal circumstances. 

 

20 hours ago, dragonxx said:

Do you think a woman who chooses to, for example, be a surgeon in the West, is less modest than someone who avoids that and opts to be a pharmacist just to avoid men?

And about the wealthy married woman who does not need to work,

Generally speaking the less interaction women have with non mehram men better it is for the woman, men and the society in general. Islam strongly  discourages non mehram interaction and given the huge choice we have these days certainly people can find something that's both to their liking and islamically recommended. 

I graduated in medicine and I loved surgery but I knew the training years would require me to examine male patients everyday so I opted for Obs&Gyn instead which satiated my need to cut open humans(joking, please don't get scared) without touching men. 

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23 hours ago, hasanhh said:

As a generalized rhetorical question, dragonette, "What can possibly be errotic about cleaning out an abcess?"

xx does not refer to my chromosome senior-senpai. 

rhetorical but...I mean... some people find dead bodies erotic xd

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8 hours ago, Moalfas said:

@dragonxx are you looking for liberal 'open minded' views or straight up Halal vs Haram? 

both, although I am somewhat familiar with the latter (I think)...

but it seems to me even some very religious families will encourage their daughters to go into medicine for example, the argument being she is saving lives. my question would be, at what cost to the woman? and is it necessary? or do these questions matter even because as long as you are helping people its ok?

other Muslim families have no problem with their daughter going into physiotherapy, saying she can only handle female patients, but forget during her education she will have to practice on both male and female patients in order to graduate.

3 hours ago, starlight said:

I graduated in medicine and I loved surgery but I knew the training years would require me to examine male patients everyday

didn't you have to do this in clerkship years as a med student anyway?

3 hours ago, starlight said:

which satiated my need to cut open humans

loool

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13 minutes ago, dragonxx said:

didn't you have to do this in clerkship years as a med student anyway?

I did, and I hated it. 

At 17 when I started medical college,unfortunately I did not have a lot of say over my life and honestly speaking not even a very clear religious understanding of this.

But then, we need female doctors for our women and I don't think it's possible anywhere in the world to get a degree in medicine in a strict female setup(I am curious how things are in Iran and KSA when it comes to female doctors/students examining men). Same argument can be applied to physiotherapy. So I am not so sure if it would be religiously impermissible at the undergrad level but once the person graduates and there is a choice I think women should opt for fields where they have minimal interaction with strange men. 

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17 hours ago, starlight said:

But then, we need female doctors for our women and I don't think it's possible anywhere in the world to get a degree in medicine in a strict female setup(I am curious how things are in Iran and KSA when it comes to female doctors/students examining men). Same argument can be applied to physiotherapy. So I am not so sure if it would be religiously impermissible at the undergrad level but once the person graduates and there is a choice I think women should opt for fields where they have minimal interaction with strange men. 

agreed, female doctors are needed for our women.

but when there is an adequate amount of female doctors already who aren't necessarily religious, or Muslim even, I doubt that argument would stand up.

not sure about Iran, but in the KSA, at least the well-known schools, it's just like the West.

I think there may be an all woman's medical school in Iran actually, not sure.

and yeah, your situation at 17 was a tough one and totally understandable. in retrospect, do you think you would have made the same decision with the knowledge you have now? why or why not?

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21 hours ago, starlight said:

so I opted for Obs&Gyn

Women have a choice to opt for OBS&Gyn but male doctors do not have a choice to select a field which is specific to men only. It gets very difficult for male doctors to avoid even the slightest physical contact with female patients. There are other rules as well which are very difficult to implement - for example, to examine any patient's private part, it is not allowed to look at it directly. Instead, a mirror has to be used and the doctor has to see the reflection in the mirror, rather than looking at it directly - unless looking directly is  necessary. Now, establishing that actual necessity can be difficult and can leave a doctor wondering whether a mirror could have sufficed. 

So, this topic doesn't apply to women only - even men have to consider whether they would be able to avoid all physical contact with female patients, if they decide to become doctors. Not an easy question to answer. 

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On 1/16/2020 at 7:57 AM, dragonxx said:

On the flip side, what of the man who decides to go into plastic surgery, and focuses his career on doing buttock/breast augmentation, abdominoplasty etc. Is this allowed? 

If the rule says that a doctor can't directly look at the private parts of the patients, let alone touch them, and has to use a mirror instead, then a male doctor going into the field of breast surgery would be problematic, I believe. 

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4 hours ago, dragonxx said:

of female doctors already who aren't necessarily religious, or Muslim even,

In a western non Muslim society yes, but in Muslim countries I am not sure religious women abandoning the profession altogether is a possibility.

4 hours ago, dragonxx said:

all woman's medical school in Iran actually, not sure

There is a women only medical college in Pakistan, one of the oldest ones in fact but you if one limits the patients also to female only(not sure if it's even technically possible) it would effect the quality of medical education. 

I would be interested in knowing of there a ruling about this. These are unavoidable circumstances.

4 hours ago, dragonxx said:

in retrospect, do you think you would have made the same decision with the knowledge you have now? why or why not?

to be honest I don't know. I am probably not a good person to answer this. Being a doctor has certainly helped in my survival as a single mother and hence my judgement is biased.

Under normal circumstances I would probably say no. There are many other fields where the girls can excel. 

Edited by starlight

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On 1/16/2020 at 1:57 AM, dragonxx said:

From the Shia point of view, is a woman allowed to go into careers where she knows she will have to touch men in order to get the appropriate training, such as being a doctor, physiotherapist, etc.?

According to Sayed Sistani, if she must go through the training to get the qualification and her qualification could result in 'saving a life', then yes, she can but only 'as necessary' بمقدار الضرورة

https://www.Sistani.org/Arabic/qa/0668/

The general rule is that a man or a woman can be examined and/or treated by the opposite gender if the same gender is not available and only 'as necessary'. 

Typically, physicians wear gloves so that's the issue of touching non mahram -somewhat- sorted. 

On 1/16/2020 at 1:57 AM, dragonxx said:

Do you think a woman who chooses to, for example, be a surgeon in the West, is less modest than someone who avoids that and opts to be a pharmacist just to avoid men?

Modesty is subjective. Even pharmacists will end up working alongside the opposite gender.

On 1/16/2020 at 1:57 AM, dragonxx said:

On the flip side, what of the man who decides to go into plastic surgery, and focuses his career on doing buttock/breast augmentation, abdominoplasty etc. Is this allowed? 

This would be extremely problematic because it's not like it entails saving lives. 

17 hours ago, dragonxx said:

but it seems to me even some very religious families will encourage their daughters to go into medicine for example, the argument being she is saving lives. my question would be, at what cost to the woman? and is it necessary? or do these questions matter even because as long as you are helping people its ok?

other Muslim families have no problem with their daughter going into physiotherapy, saying she can only handle female patients, but forget during her education she will have to practice on both male and female patients in order to graduate.

We tend to always find ways to justify what we want. 

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9 hours ago, Moalfas said:

Modesty is subjective. Even pharmacists will end up working alongside the opposite gender.

certainly, depending on the setting in which they work.

I meant pharmacists don't have to perform physical examinations, etc.

9 hours ago, Moalfas said:

According to Sayed Sistani, if she must go through the training to get the qualification and her qualification could result in 'saving a life', then yes, she can but only 'as necessary' بمقدار الضرورة

that's interesting, because, well, firstly, flip the roles, with that logic, a man shouldn't have a problem specializing in Obs&gynae?

secondly,

the question arises is it necessary for her to gain the qualification in order to save lives? as in, if there is already a well-established healthcare system, why should she sacrifice some of her modesty and embark on a journey that may do her harm, even desensitize her to things she should be sensitized to in terms of male-female interactions (jokes, laughing, exchanging casual convos with colleagues, being alone in the room at various times with the opposite gender, exposing parts of her body for sterilization, plus the sometimes 'necessary-to-graduate' physical contact, despite it being 'not-necessary-for-training/health').

I know some of these things apply to males as well, but it's far more heavy on the female as well as situations less avoidable for her. For example, you would see men's private areas during physical examinations as a female, but rarely as a male if ever would you see the 'equivalent' private parts of the woman.

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3 hours ago, dragonxx said:

that's interesting, because, well, firstly, flip the roles, with that logic, a man shouldn't have a problem specializing in Obs&gynae?

Good point. it is a problem because women abundantly specialise in it and are available. In a world where there are no female Obs&Gyn doctors, I'd apply such ruling on a man going through the training as necessary بمقدار الضرورة 

And then in actual practice, he'd have to be dealing with extremely difficult situations.

Quote

secondly,

the question arises is it necessary for her to gain the qualification in order to save lives?

That's something she would decide upon and bare the responsibility of. 

Quote

as in, if there is already a well-established healthcare system, why should she sacrifice some of her modesty and embark on a journey that may do her harm

Ultimately, both genders should make a conscience decision about the paths they take. 

The Marja would give a general fatwa, and we would use our judgement and conscience knowing that our dealings, at the end of the day, are with Allah Ta'ala الرزّاق the Sustainer, the Maintainer, the Superb and all Provider. 

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Guest What

Aren’t there rulings that medical professionals are exempt from it (while at their profession) since it involves saving lives and medical examinations? (Male doctors, dentists, ob-gyns, physiotherapists.) Meaning that Islamically, male (and female) doctors are allowed to examine bodies of either gender. Otherwise, society would not seek out medicine whatsoever. 

Is the OP really suggesting that people in Muslim countries behave like they do in Afghanistan where between male doctors and female patients, there is a curtain between them and the doctor never does any physical examination themselves? 

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5 hours ago, Guest What said:

Aren’t there rulings that medical professionals are exempt from it (while at their profession) since it involves saving lives and medical examinations? (Male doctors, dentists, ob-gyns, physiotherapists.) Meaning that Islamically, male (and female) doctors are allowed to examine bodies of either gender. Otherwise, society would not seek out medicine whatsoever. 

Is the OP really suggesting that people in Muslim countries behave like they do in Afghanistan where between male doctors and female patients, there is a curtain between them and the doctor never does any physical examination themselves? 

Male and female doctors are not allowed to examine bodies of opposite gender - unless there is a very serious necessity and no other option available and will cause severe harm if not done. 

----------

https://www.Sistani.org/english/book/46/2060/

Question: Sometimes the practising physician feels that he has to uncover certain parts, other than the private parts, of the female patient [for examination]. Is it permissible for him to uncover her body in the following circumstances: When a female physician is available, yet costly? When the patient is not in danger, although she is sick regardless?What is the rule if the part that the physician has to examine is a private part?

Answer: If visiting a female physician is possible, it is not permissible [for a female patient to uncover her body for a male physician], unless the cost is so much that it will hurt her financial situation.
It is permissible, if not visiting that male physician will harm [her health-wise] or put her in a serious inconvenience that is not normally tolerated. The rule is the same as explained above; and in both the cases, he must only uncover the parts that need examining. And if it is possible to treat the case without looking directly at the parts that are harãm to look at (for example, if he can see through a monitor or a mirror), that should be the course of action, based on precaution.

Edited by Aale Mohammad

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23 hours ago, Guest What said:

Aren’t there rulings that medical professionals are exempt from it (while at their profession) since it involves saving lives and medical examinations? (Male doctors, dentists, ob-gyns, physiotherapists.) Meaning that Islamically, male (and female) doctors are allowed to examine bodies of either gender. Otherwise, society would not seek out medicine whatsoever. 

Is the OP really suggesting that people in Muslim countries behave like they do in Afghanistan where between male doctors and female patients, there is a curtain between them and the doctor never does any physical examination themselves? 

As a female, why allow a male to uncover you when there are plenty female physicians available? (unless emergency situation)

As a male why let a female uncover you when there are plenty of male physicians available? (unless emergency situation)

I believe that's the logic behind the high-ranking marjaa's rulings.

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