A note posted on the door of a dentist's clinic in Saudi Arabia is causing quite the stir online. In it, the unidentified doctor demands that his female patients bring along a male guardian into the checkup room.
"Dear female patient, in order to avoid embarrassment: Please make sure to have a male guardian with you when you come in for a checkup," the sign read.
The viral image is stirring up controversy
An image of the sign has been making the rounds online for the past few days and it's sparking a heated debate among tweeps in several GCC countries.
While many attacked the dentist, deeming his behavior discriminatory, others tried to defend him, explaining that what he's doing comes in line with Islamic sharia.
It's important to note that there is no official rule that demands women seeking medical services in the kingdom to have male guardians with them during checkups.
However, health clinics in Saudi Arabia often hire nurses to assist male doctors in case a female patient is uncomfortable being alone with them.
A few people hailed the dentist for posting the sign
"May God bless you and I hope all doctors follow in your footsteps."
And called him a "respectable doctor"
Others thought this was about the dentist's personal freedom
"He's free to make this decision, no-one can force him to do something he doesn't want to do. I know female doctors who refuse to treat male patients. It's their most basic of rights to decide that."
Others were having none of it though
"I am coming in to get a checkup, certainly not visiting a doctor for fun. What if my male guardian is busy, what do I do then?"
"This doctor is just insane"
Some were understandably upset
"It's his duty as a doctor to treat patients no matter what. I think there are always female nurses to assist doctors for specific cases, he could even hire a female nurse and ask her to stay in the room if he's so uncomfortable. But to force women to bring in a male guardian for checkups is outrageous. What if their guardians can't come? What if the woman is using a taxi, or has other personal reasons that make it difficult for her to ask a guardian to come in with her. What does she do then? Just go back home?!"
"The definition of regression"
"With this kind of mentality, we're always going to be regressed."