A father in Saudi Arabia has shot the doctor who helped his wife give birth, furious that a man was present in the delivery room rather than a female medic.
Dr Muhannad Al- Zabn delivered the baby a month ago at the King Fahad Medical City in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The husband arranged a meeting with the obstetrician under the pretence of thanking him for the successful delivery of his child, Gulf News website reported.
The two met in the garden of the hospital but mid-conversation the embittered man took out a gun hidden under his jacket and shot the doctor. He was given emergency treatment and put in intensive care where he was said to be in a stable condition.
A photograph of a young man purported to be Dr Al-Zabn, wearing a hospital gown and clutching his stomach, was posted on social media. The police later arrested the husband, who fled the scene after the shooting.
Saudi Arabia enforces its own brand of ultraconservative Islam, Wahhabism, under which women and men are segregated from a young age. Female citizens are required to cover up in loose-fitting clothes and are barred from driving. They are also subject to a male guardianship system which requires them to seek permission from their male relatives for everything including undergoing medical operations, opening a bank account and accepting a job.
Today social media users in the kingdom took to Twitter to express their horror at the incident, using the hashtag #agynaecologisthasbeenshot. Many called it “backward” and “shocking” but others said that it showed the need for gender segregation in hospitals.
“In order to avoid these problems and to avoid embarrassment, obstetrics should be limited to women, men can only do caesarean sections,” one Twitter user said.
In a similar incident a husband in Saudi divorced his wife over the high cost for an operation to help her lose weight. The obese teacher went under the knife in Riyadh at her husband’s request who said she was too fat to be his wife, Gulf News reported. After the operation the husband’s pleasure quickly turned to anger when he was handed a £14,500 bill for the work. He quickly divorced her saying he would rather spend the money on a new home.