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Fasting and ability to work

(225 Posts)
ChipsOnChips Sat 20-Jun-15 07:09:21

Yesterday DC was booked to have an operation - not massively complex but not minor either. The surgery was scheduled for late afternoon and would have taken some time.

Prior to the surgery the dr visited us and it became apparant they were fasting. I felt very uncomfortable about the op going ahead and very conflicted that I felt uncomfortable.

Was I being unreasonable to be concerned?

ChipsOnChips Sat 20-Jun-15 07:10:19

And yes I've name changed

noeffingidea Sat 20-Jun-15 07:12:36

How did it become apparent they were fasting?

BertrandRussell Sat 20-Jun-15 07:13:06

How did it "become apparant"?

BeeMyBaby Sat 20-Jun-15 07:14:53

If they were fasting Ramadan, I previously went to a talk at our City mosque which stated that if someone's occupation was say, brain surgery, and they felt fasting would impair their ability to work, they could forego the fast or at least catch up at another time. As this option is available, the Dr obviously thought it did not pose a problem to him (as he would be one of the few with a choice) so no I wouldn't worry.

JeanSeberg Sat 20-Jun-15 07:16:32

A not so subtle way to have a pop at Muslims OP? Did he have the operation?

googoodolly Sat 20-Jun-15 07:24:13

Presumably muslims all over the world fast for Ramadan and still manage to perform surgery without problems. And if it's a busy day, there'll be a large number of non-muslim doctors who haven't had the chance to eat anything either.

I'm intrigued as to how it "became apparent" though. hmm

Sirzy Sat 20-Jun-15 07:28:20

I would have thought that most surgeons are pretty used to having to go long periods of time without eating due to the nature of the job.

They aren't going to do it if they felt it would stop them being able to work safely.

grobagsforever Sat 20-Jun-15 07:29:24

I'm with you OP. Fasting impairs your abilty to work. That's a fact and has nothing to do with religion.

GoodArvo Sat 20-Jun-15 07:29:46

I know a consultant/surgeon, who doesn't do surgery when he's fasting. He does other work, but not the actual surgery.

niminypiminy Sat 20-Jun-15 07:31:12

In actual fact fasting can increase your concentration.

Muslims can, you know, be responsible medical professionals with high levels of ethical awareness and knowledge about the effects of fasting. Just saying.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 20-Jun-15 07:31:53

You would be amazed how regularly surgeons don't get to eat or drink from when their shift starts to shift finish due to volume of work. At least these days they get to sleep.

WiIdfire Sat 20-Jun-15 07:33:53

For years of my surgical career I've been too busy to eat during the day. That includes operations that take 8-10 hours where we don't stop for lunch. 'Fasting' is pretty much the norm for a lot of surgeons I know, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

ChipsOnChips Sat 20-Jun-15 07:34:34

Not a way of having a pop at Muslims at all. As I said in my OP I felt very conflicted about feeling concerned.

In relation to capability I travel to a lot of predominantly Muslim countries for work and working hours tend to be reduced to reflect reduced capability due to fasting. I've not thought twice about it - until now.

It became apparent because my other DC offered him a sweet and in response the Dr explained that he was fasting.

lilacblossomtime Sat 20-Jun-15 07:35:17

When I have been fasting for 5:2 diet I found it left me feeling quite focused and clear headed. But you don't get to be a surgeon by being stupid and I am sure yours wouldn't operate/would break his fast, if he felt he was not at his best.

WiIdfire Sat 20-Jun-15 07:35:55

...and what Lonecat says - its much more of an issue when people are operating having had no sleep for >24-48 hours - fortunately that side of things is getting better and doesn't happen so much these days.

chickenschicken Sat 20-Jun-15 07:40:35

Did the operation go ahead? How did it go?

RaskolnikovsGarret Sat 20-Jun-15 07:41:32

I know an anaesthetist who has recently retired. Nearly 300 staff and patients came to his retirement party as he did such a fantastic job/was so well liked. A superb doctor, he fasted whilst standing for hours in theatre. I asked him about this and he said he genuinely never felt tired/weak. Hard to believe for me, but maybe there's something about 'faith' making you strong. Not one mistake in 40 years of work.

DumbledoresKnobblyWand Sat 20-Jun-15 07:42:13

If you think non-muslim surgeons don't perform surgeries having not had a bite to eat that day, you're naive.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 20-Jun-15 07:48:31

The surgeon has been observing Ramadan since puberty, so whilst fasting has; managed to remain alive himself, pass very complicated exams and hasn't killed anyone thus far.

Ask for a non Muslim surgeon. I'm sure there are people who are waiting for ops who'd be happy for the fasting Muslim surgeons expertise.

ChipsOnChips Sat 20-Jun-15 08:04:27

Thanks wildfire as a matter of curiosity can you drink water during surgery?

I frequently don't get a chance to eat during my working day but if I hadn't been able to have a glass of water for 10+ hours I reckon I'd struggle. But totally take the point that you can train your body for this not to be an issue.

weasle Sat 20-Jun-15 08:04:42

I'm a non Muslim surgeon, and I have my reservations about capability of people fasting especially at this time of year with long days. It's the fluid restriction that must be particularly tough. I've worked with people clearly struggling who have chosen fasting before work or patient safety and not been able to do the job but refused to have a sip of water. I think that's a serious performance matter, but very difficult to approach! However most people do manage it fine, but people should be able to opt out of fasting if it's affecting their work so much, they rarely do though...

DustBunnyFarmer Sat 20-Jun-15 08:07:15

I missed the ramadan subtext initially and thought this was about the 5:2 diet. Duh!

JeanSeberg Sat 20-Jun-15 08:08:24

So did the operation go ahead?

moomoomummy Sat 20-Jun-15 08:10:51

I am a specialist who performs surgery and I know that there is no way I could work all day without food or water without it affecting my work. Everyone is different though. Almost impossible to police though.

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