Two Sikh doctors shaved their beards so they can safely treat coronavirus patients
Two Sikh doctor brothers in Canada have taken an `extremely difficult decision` to shave off their beards, in order to wear N95 masks when treating coronavirus patients, according to media reports.
Sanjeet Singh-Saluja, who is associate chief of the department of emergency medicine at the MUHC’s Montreal General and Royal Victoria hospitals, wanted to extend his involvement in the fight against COVID-19. It was difficult for him to reconcile his medical oath with his religious values, but the Montreal physician gave preference to his duty and shaves off his beards.
Dr. Sanjeet Singh-Saluja is a deeply religious Sikh, and according to the tenets of his religion, one of the pillars of his faith, “kesh,” is the practice of “allowing one’s hair to grow naturally out of respect for the perfection of God’s creation.” However, another pillar of his faith is “seva,” which relates to service toward mankind.
In a dilemma, the doctor brothers consulted leaders of their faith, friends and family, took the tough call and opted for the latter since commitment to sewa was a big reason why they were working in their profession.
He said, “It was an extremely difficult decision for us, but one that we felt was absolutely necessary in this time of need,” adding “It’s a decision that has left me with much sadness. This was something that had been so much part of my identity. I look at myself in the mirror very differently now. Every morning when I see myself, it’s a bit of a shock.”
At a time when despite the pandemic, communal hatred continues to rage in different parts of the country, it is heartening to see humanity win over religion somewhere at least!