Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Having a sick child is one of the most horrible cards a person can be dealt in life and not even being allowed into your child’s room is even worse. In Vienna the family Salfenauer experienced exactly that and not because of medical reasons but because of the religious beliefs of another patient.
The family Salfenauer brought their daughter (23), who is suffering from multiple sclerosis, to the hospital for treatment. Since the treatment can be fatal they always accompany her.
On entry into the hospital the family was quickly taken aside and instructed, that the father shouldn’t enter the room due to a ‘radical Muslim woman’, who does not allow any men to enter the room. Therefore the father of the sick woman had to stay in the door frame and could not be at his daughter’s bed to hold her hand.
Even though he followed the baffling instructions, the fully veiled woman heard him and demanded he leave the room even though she was lying behind a partition wall. Understandably he got into a verbal argument with the woman. Eventually he and his wife left to cool off in the waiting area.
There the hospital staff and security asked them to leave for disturbing the peace. He told the newspaper Krone: “We were shocked that a radical, in this case a religious radical, gets to decide how we have to behave in Vienna. She gets to decide that I can’t see my daughter? Every form of radicalism is to be fought especially this type of psychological terror.”
Since the burqa was banned last year Mr.Salfenauer, a lawyer, has issued a formal complaint. The hospital believes the woman is not in breach of the law. A day after the incident the hospital reached out and apologised for the unfortunate event and promised to investigate the situation further. The hospital stated it was unacceptable for a patient be given favorable treatment in this case.
Mr. Salfenauer added: “We have a real problem when there is a clear violation of law and it isn’t being enforced but on the other hand we regular Austrian citizens have to subjugate ourselves in anticipatory obedience to such radical people and have to tolerate it all. That can’t be.”
The father repeatedly stated that he has no problems with other religions and wants everyone to receive the treatment they need regardless of religion, place of birth or other factors.
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