September 7, 2006

A Modest Proposal

In the annals of fashion, the hospital gown — if it is known for anything — is known for its unintentional immodesty. Many a comedic moment — in film, TV and real life — has occurred when a patient has turned around and we see her or his backside exposed.

So there is a little bit of unintentional irony behind this BBC story about the creation of a burqua-style gown that appeals to Muslim’s women’s sense of propriety. It covers the entire head, neck and body, with a narrow opening for the eyes.

The gowns will be available in Lancashire hospitals in November, but already they seem to be a hit. According to the BBC:

The gowns were trialled at Royal Preston Hospital and proved so successful that a number of other NHS Trusts have also expressed an interest in offering them.

Karen Jacob, linen services manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, came up with the idea.

She said: “I noticed a gap in the market and thought that it would be great if there was a gown that helped to preserve a patient’s modesty.”

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