“When I looked into the Shariah law and the Ministry of Health regulations, I realised that this in fact constitutes a kind of malpractice done out of ignorance and negligence,” wrote Al –Amoudi, who has been credited with raising awareness about breast cancer by sharing her battle against the disease.
She cited a 1984 statement re-circulated this year by the kingdom’s Ministry of Health which asserted that the consent of the “legally competent” male or female patient must be obtained before carrying out any medical operation or delivering any treatments.
Al-Amoudi pointed out that many health care providers in the kingdom are not aware or ignore this regulation, often fearing confrontation with the woman’s male guardian. More importantly, many Saudi women are unaware of their right to authorise medical treatment.
“I believe that a woman has many rights but that one of the most important is her right to health care,” Al- Almoudi wrote.
“Without good health, women cannot perform effectively as mothers, wives or citizens and help in the progress and development of the country.”