Treating Muslim Women in the American Healthcare System Term Paper by scribbler

Treating Muslim Women in the American Healthcare System
A look at the barriers American nurses face in working with the Muslim culture.
# 152730 | 861 words | 3 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 23, 2013 in Medical and Health (Nursing) , Religion and Theology (Islam)

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The paper discusses the dominance of fathers and brothers in decision-making regarding young girls and also notes that both Muslim women and men are often unwilling to seek medical advice about sexual matters, given that this is characterized as such an intensely private matter in Muslim societies. The paper mentions the need to address psychological components of illnesses in a manner that is comfortable for Muslim, female patients and then addresses spousal abuse. The paper points out that healthcare providers must be careful not to make assumptions but they also must not assume that younger individuals are invariably more 'progressive' in their beliefs than members of the older generation. In conclusion, the paper emphasizes that simply knowing generic Muslim prohibitions is not enough--the healthcare provider must understand how Islam operates in the woman's specific context.

From the Paper:

"The American population of Muslims hails from a wide span of nations, from Africa to the Middle East to Asia. But addressing the health disparities and barriers particular to Muslims requires an understanding of the Muslim's religious and social environment, as well as the patient's nations of origin. Regarding Muslim women in particular, many healthcare providers may be subconsciously resistant in the face of physical signs of observance, such as the patient's covering of her hair or face.
"Examples of culture clashes abound. For example, one Muslim man "brought his pregnant wife to the hospital with vaginal bleeding, only to leave when no female physician was on duty to examine her" in accordance with his Islamic tradition (Galanti, 2000, p.356). Other healthcare facilities attempt to make accommodations. In another example, a Muslim man "tried to keep laboratory technicians from drawing blood from his wife's arm before surgery" but eventually allowed the technician to draw blood, after covering her body and leaving only the arm exposed to their view (Galanti, 2000, p.356).
"There is often difficulty 'reading' Muslim culture on the part of non-Muslim healthcare providers: "Frequently Muslim husbands will answer physicians' questions directed to their wives, rather than allowing them to speak. American medical students are often taught that such behavior is a sign of possible abuse" (Galanti, 200, p.356). But on the other hand, evidence of domination should not be simply assigned to the category of 'cultural differences' without some probing."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dhami, Sangeeta & Aziz Sheikh. (2000, November). The Muslim family: Predicament and promise. Western Journal of Medicine, 173(5): 352-356.Retrieved August 9, 2010 at
  • Galanti, Geri-Ann. (2000, November). American health care professionals should respect the traditions of other cultures. Western Journal of Medicine, 173(5): 356.Retrieved August 9, 2010 at
  • Sange, C. et al (2008) Urinary incontinence in Muslim women. Nursing Times, 104 (25) 49-52. Retrieved August 9, 2010 at

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Treating Muslim Women in the American Healthcare System (2013, April 23) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Treating Muslim Women in the American Healthcare System" 23 April 2013. Web. 03 December. 2023. <>