Advanced

Kortärmat i vården - Om avvägningen mellan religiösa manifestationer och smittskyddsregler i vården

Jönhagen, Erik LU (2016) JURM02 20161
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Den här uppsatsen syftar till att undersöka kollisionen som kan uppstå mellan å ena sidan människors vilja att manifestera sin religion och hälso- och sjukvårdshänsyn å andra sidan. Med anledning av två fall som nyligen aktualiserats i Sverige undersöker jag huruvida smittskyddsregler i vården kan grunda begränsning av religionsfriheten. Analysen görs utifrån ett mänskliga rättigheter- och diskrimineringsperspektiv. Min utgångspunkt är att utifrån en rättsdogmatisk metod skärskåda det fall från Jönköpings tingsrätt där en barnmorska på grund av tros- och samvetsbetänkligheter vägrade utföra aborter. Med hjälp av Jönköpings tingsrätts mål analyserar jag det fall där en muslimsk tandläkarstudent med hänvisning till sin religion inte kunnat... (More)
Den här uppsatsen syftar till att undersöka kollisionen som kan uppstå mellan å ena sidan människors vilja att manifestera sin religion och hälso- och sjukvårdshänsyn å andra sidan. Med anledning av två fall som nyligen aktualiserats i Sverige undersöker jag huruvida smittskyddsregler i vården kan grunda begränsning av religionsfriheten. Analysen görs utifrån ett mänskliga rättigheter- och diskrimineringsperspektiv. Min utgångspunkt är att utifrån en rättsdogmatisk metod skärskåda det fall från Jönköpings tingsrätt där en barnmorska på grund av tros- och samvetsbetänkligheter vägrade utföra aborter. Med hjälp av Jönköpings tingsrätts mål analyserar jag det fall där en muslimsk tandläkarstudent med hänvisning till sin religion inte kunnat bära kortärmad arbetsdräkt och av sitt universitet blivit nekad att bära engångsärmar. Uppsatsen kan uppdelas i fyra steg. Första steget består i att presentera de rättsliga förutsättningarna för kunna göra min analys. I steg två analyserar jag avvägningen mellan samvetsvägran och kvinnors rätt till en effektiv abortvård (barnmorskefallet). I steg tre görs motsvarande analys gällande avvägningen mellan religionsfrihet och diskrimineringsförbudet som har samband med religion kontra smittskydd (tandläkarfallet). I det sista steget jämförs de båda fallen.

Gällande barnmorskefallet anser jag att tingsrättens bedömning är rimlig. Kvinnors rätt till en effektiv abortvård bedöms väga tyngre än barnmorskans religionsfrihet. Avvägningen måste dock vara kontextberoende och jag menar att utfallet kan variera beroende på om barnmorskan skulle arbetat på en liten klink som i frågan eller ett stort sjukhus där större hänsyn borde kunna tas till hennes religiösa tro. När det gäller tandläkarfallet är en viktigt skillnad mot barnmorskefallet att en alternativ lösning finns, nämligen användandet av engångsärmar. Skälet till att kravet på att arbetskläderna måste vara kortärmade är att möjliggöra en god handdesinfektion samt att långärmade kläder är stora smittobärare. Av Socialstyrelsens föreskrifter om basal hygien framgår, förutom att arbetskläderna ska vara kortärmade, att engångsärmar i undantagsfall kan användas och att dessa ärmar inte medför större smittorisk än kortärmade arbetskläder. Jag argumenterar för att det faktum att universitetet nekar studenten möjligheten att använda engångsärmar förskjuter avvägningen från religion kontra smittskydd till religion kontra kostnadseffektivitet. En viktig poäng i sammanhanget är att smittskyddshänsyn i sig förmodligen kan utgöra grund för begränsning av religionsfriheten i enlighet med Europadomstolens bedömning i fallet Eweida (Chaplin). Dock väger kostnadseffektivitetsargumentet enligt min mening inte tillräckligt tungt för att begränsa religionsfriheten eller diskrimineringsförbudet som har samband med religion. I det aktuella fallet är min slutsats därför att tandläkarstudenten blivit diskriminerad och fått sin religionsfrihet kränkt. (Less)
Abstract
The aim of this essay is to investigate the conflicting interests that can arise between religious people’s will to manifest their religion on one hand and healthcare related issues on the other hand. Based upon two recent cases in Sweden I’m trying to distinguish whether hygiene regulations in healthcare are enough to limit the freedom of religion. The analysis is done from a human rights and discriminatory perspective. Through traditional legal sources I examine a case where a midwife who claimed discrimination when being refused employment after neglecting to perform abortions due to her Christian belief. The midwife case is used to understand another case where a Muslim dentist student refused to wear short sleeved work clothes with... (More)
The aim of this essay is to investigate the conflicting interests that can arise between religious people’s will to manifest their religion on one hand and healthcare related issues on the other hand. Based upon two recent cases in Sweden I’m trying to distinguish whether hygiene regulations in healthcare are enough to limit the freedom of religion. The analysis is done from a human rights and discriminatory perspective. Through traditional legal sources I examine a case where a midwife who claimed discrimination when being refused employment after neglecting to perform abortions due to her Christian belief. The midwife case is used to understand another case where a Muslim dentist student refused to wear short sleeved work clothes with regard to her religion. When the university neglected to provide disposable long sleeves for one-time use she claimed discrimination and violation of her religious freedom. This study can be divided into four steps. In the first step I present the legal conditions for my analysis. In the second step I analyse the contradiction between conscientious objection in abortion care and women’s right to an effective abortion care. In the third step the same analysis is made but with regard to the contradiction between hygiene rules and religious freedom and discrimination. In the last step the two different cases are compared.

Based on my analysis in the midwife case I agree with the court. Women’s right to an effective abortion care is given priority to the midwifes’ religious conviction. This argument must however be contextualized. If, for example, the women’s clinics are small as in the cases, the religious aspect may have to give way to the argument of an effective abortion care, but if the midwife would be working in a large hospital, more regard would have to be shown to her religious conviction. An important difference in the dentist case is the alternative solution to the collision between religion and hygiene restrictions, namely the usage of disposable long sleeves for one-time use. There are two reasons for having short sleeved work clothing in healthcare. Short sleeves simplify hand-disinfection and long sleeves increase the risk of contagion. In the regulations on health care work clothes short sleeves are therefore demanded. However, an exception can be made with disposable long armed sleeves which will uphold the same hygiene standards. I argue that the fact that the university doesn’t allow this exception in the case with the Muslim student changes the conflicting interests from religion contra hygiene to religion contra cost-efficiency. It can be worth noting that hygiene related reasons probably in itself can ground limitations from the freedom of religion and the prohibition on discrimination, as was the case in Eweida (Chaplin) from the European Court of Human Rights. But when the conflicting issues are cost-efficiency and religion, the cost-efficiency argument is not weighing heavily enough. Hence, regarding the case in question, my conclusion is that the dentist student has been discriminated and that the students’ freedom of religion has been breached. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jönhagen, Erik LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Short sleeves in healthcare
course
JURM02 20161
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
folkrätt, public international law, religionsfrihet, smittskydd, samvetsvägran
language
Swedish
id
8887942
date added to LUP
2016-09-06 14:43:23
date last changed
2016-09-06 14:43:23
@misc{8887942,
  abstract     = {The aim of this essay is to investigate the conflicting interests that can arise between religious people’s will to manifest their religion on one hand and healthcare related issues on the other hand. Based upon two recent cases in Sweden I’m trying to distinguish whether hygiene regulations in healthcare are enough to limit the freedom of religion. The analysis is done from a human rights and discriminatory perspective. Through traditional legal sources I examine a case where a midwife who claimed discrimination when being refused employment after neglecting to perform abortions due to her Christian belief. The midwife case is used to understand another case where a Muslim dentist student refused to wear short sleeved work clothes with regard to her religion. When the university neglected to provide disposable long sleeves for one-time use she claimed discrimination and violation of her religious freedom. This study can be divided into four steps. In the first step I present the legal conditions for my analysis. In the second step I analyse the contradiction between conscientious objection in abortion care and women’s right to an effective abortion care. In the third step the same analysis is made but with regard to the contradiction between hygiene rules and religious freedom and discrimination. In the last step the two different cases are compared. 

Based on my analysis in the midwife case I agree with the court. Women’s right to an effective abortion care is given priority to the midwifes’ religious conviction. This argument must however be contextualized. If, for example, the women’s clinics are small as in the cases, the religious aspect may have to give way to the argument of an effective abortion care, but if the midwife would be working in a large hospital, more regard would have to be shown to her religious conviction. An important difference in the dentist case is the alternative solution to the collision between religion and hygiene restrictions, namely the usage of disposable long sleeves for one-time use. There are two reasons for having short sleeved work clothing in healthcare. Short sleeves simplify hand-disinfection and long sleeves increase the risk of contagion. In the regulations on health care work clothes short sleeves are therefore demanded. However, an exception can be made with disposable long armed sleeves which will uphold the same hygiene standards. I argue that the fact that the university doesn’t allow this exception in the case with the Muslim student changes the conflicting interests from religion contra hygiene to religion contra cost-efficiency. It can be worth noting that hygiene related reasons probably in itself can ground limitations from the freedom of religion and the prohibition on discrimination, as was the case in Eweida (Chaplin) from the European Court of Human Rights. But when the conflicting issues are cost-efficiency and religion, the cost-efficiency argument is not weighing heavily enough. Hence, regarding the case in question, my conclusion is that the dentist student has been discriminated and that the students’ freedom of religion has been breached.},
  author       = {Jönhagen, Erik},
  keyword      = {folkrätt,public international law,religionsfrihet,smittskydd,samvetsvägran},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Kortärmat i vården - Om avvägningen mellan religiösa manifestationer och smittskyddsregler i vården},
  year         = {2016},
}