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Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#1 Post by Alan H » February 2nd, 2009, 12:50 pm

It may make the patient feel better (and that's all for the good), but should this nurse be disciplined, sacked or just left alone?
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Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient | UK news | The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/0 ... -suspended
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Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

* Press Association
* The Guardian, Monday 2 February 2009
* Article history

A nurse was suspended after offering to pray for the recovery of an elderly patient, it emerged yesterday. Caroline Petrie, 45, was accused of failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity after the incident and is awaiting the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

The community nurse, who lives in Weston-super-Mare and carries out home visits, has been suspended by North Somerset primary care trust and could lose her job. Petrie, a Baptist who has two children, said she had not forced her beliefs on anyone, but had simply asked if the woman would like a prayer said for her.

She said: "I'm not angry, and I understand if people don't believe in the way that I do. But I am upset because I enjoy this job and it [prayer] is a valuable part of the care I give.

"I became a Christian 10 years ago after my mother died. My faith got stronger and I realised God was doing amazing things in my life. I saw my patients suffering and as I believe in the power of prayer, I began asking them if they wanted me to pray for them. They are absolutely delighted."

She said she had seen her supplications have real effects on patients, including a Catholic woman whose urine infection cleared up days after she said a prayer.

Petrie said the incident that led to her suspension occurred after she visited a woman in Winscombe in December. She said she asked the woman: "Would you like me to pray for you?" after putting dressings on her legs. The woman replied "No, thank you", and Petrie insists she did not press the matter.

The woman, understood to be in her 70s, is believed to have told the trust about the incident. Petrie was challenged by her superiors.

Petrie said she had been reprimanded over her faith before, in October, when she gave a homemade prayer card to an elderly patient.

She said: "He was delighted with it, but his carer was not."

[Retrieved: Mon Feb 02 2009 12:48:22 GMT+0000 (GMT Standard Time)]

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Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

MedMae
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#2 Post by MedMae » February 2nd, 2009, 1:01 pm

How is offering a prayer failing to show a "commitment to equality and diversity" (Whatever that actually means.)? Surely penalising people for making such an offer is failing to show a "commitment to equality and diversity" by denigrating thier beliefs. Not to mention that christian patients may well welcome such an offer, what about their "equality and diversity"?
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

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Paolo
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#3 Post by Paolo » February 2nd, 2009, 1:04 pm

Harassing a slightly overbearing Christian who is trying to help people hardly looks good. But then again, her claims that prayers have helped clear up people's medical problems (E.g. "She said she had seen her supplications have real effects on patients, including a Catholic woman whose urine infection cleared up days after she said a prayer") are exactly the kind of thing that perpetrates people's ridiculous inability to decouple anecdote from demonstrable fact. If she has been cautioned about this in the past then she needs to be disciplined now.

arandel
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#4 Post by arandel » February 2nd, 2009, 4:03 pm

This the type of stuff that helps to get atheism a bad name.

I don't really think she should be doing this but a quiet word rather than the disciplinary process is surely more appropriate. On the other hand, these situations are often blown up by Christians precisely in order to make atheists appear intolerant and mean-spirited.

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Alan H
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#5 Post by Alan H » February 2nd, 2009, 4:08 pm

arandel wrote:On the other hand, these situations are often blown up by Christians...
...and the media. It can be difficult to get to the bottom of what really happened.
I don't really think she should be doing this but a quiet word rather than the disciplinary process is surely more appropriate.
It looks like she had been warned before, so perhaps more severe disciplinary action is called for now.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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jaywhat
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#6 Post by jaywhat » February 2nd, 2009, 4:17 pm

We do not seem to know the whole story her, but how would you like it if, for example, a surgeon told you he used prayer instead of medicine to cure things.

Nick
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#7 Post by Nick » February 2nd, 2009, 4:39 pm

I see no problem in her offering to pray for someone, but she must be sensitive to the patients feelings. In just the same way as an atheist carer should not go out of his/her way to tell a patient with a serious illness that it's a fat lot of use praying. She must assess how such a remark may be received. If she is not doing so and is upsetting patients, then she needs guidance, certainly not the sack. Her first duty must be the dispensing of care, according to best medical practice, not theological nonsense. I'm inclined to think it is an overblown media story and think we should not be hollerin' about such a small issue.

arandel
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#8 Post by arandel » February 2nd, 2009, 4:42 pm

Horrified :supershock:

Nick
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#9 Post by Nick » February 2nd, 2009, 4:45 pm

which are you horrified by? The offering of prayers, or the threat of the sack....?

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Paolo
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#10 Post by Paolo » February 2nd, 2009, 4:46 pm

or both?

arandel
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#11 Post by arandel » February 2nd, 2009, 4:47 pm

The surgeon using prayer rather than medicine!!

Another post intercepted my answer!

Nick
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#12 Post by Nick » February 2nd, 2009, 4:50 pm

Ahem! I'd be horrified too, if that were the case. I'd also be horrified if a nurse were carryiing out surgery... You might like to re-read the original piece :wink:

arandel
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#13 Post by arandel » February 2nd, 2009, 4:59 pm

"how would you like it if, for example, a surgeon told you he used prayer instead of medicine to cure things."

....that's what I was answering!!

Nick
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#14 Post by Nick » February 2nd, 2009, 5:30 pm

Ah! My bad! Sorry! :D

I find using the
quote
facility useful to avoid this sort of confusion. By the way, welcome to the forum :D

tubataxidriver
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#15 Post by tubataxidriver » February 2nd, 2009, 5:39 pm

The Somerset health trust are quoting the following as the grounds for investigation / disciplinary action. This requirement is quite clear, and would preclude the promotion of any non-health related issue by staff. It is from the Nurses and Midwives Code of Professional Conduct.
Uphold the reputation of your profession
• You must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health
It could be argued that a broader description of health to include social and spiritual aspects should be adopted for those patients who need it - there does appear to be a potential grey area.

Maria Mac
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#16 Post by Maria Mac » February 2nd, 2009, 6:14 pm

arandel wrote:The surgeon using prayer rather than medicine!!

Another post intercepted my answer!
That's why it's useful to use the quote function on people's posts, so it's clear what you're responding to. (There's a thread in reception you can practise in, if you're not used to this software). :)

Edit: Doh! I see Nick got in well before me.

arandel
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#17 Post by arandel » February 2nd, 2009, 6:21 pm

Thanks Nick & Maria - will swot up on the use of the "quote" facility!

Maria Mac
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#18 Post by Maria Mac » February 2nd, 2009, 6:27 pm

Having now read the article, I suspect there's rather more to it than meets the eye. We are told at the end that she was 'reprimanded' after giving someone a religious card that he was 'delighted' with. At least, that's her story.

I must admit, I wouldn't appreciate it one bit if I were sick or injured and had an unsolicited offer of prayer from a professional health worker and I think I would raise it as a concern (rather than as a complaint), as I assume that old woman did. It isn't appropriate unless the nurse knows that the patient is a practising xtian. It may be that this nurse is overbearing in her evangelising and there have been signs that her patients aren't as delighted as she thinks they are when they thank her politely for her offers of prayers etc.

Whatever the circumstances, I'd agree that a 'quiet word' should be the first step and would assume that this had already been tried a couple of times before starting disciplinary action. If not, I agree it's heavy handed (though if it's in her contract to keep religion out of work and she's breaking the contract then they may not have a choice).

verte
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#19 Post by verte » February 2nd, 2009, 9:32 pm

If she really believes her prayers are helping her patients, I wonder why she doesn't just pray for them quietly without drawing attention to it. It almost sounds as if she wants to get proper credit for their recovery.
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Alan C.
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Re: Nurse may face sack for prayer offer to patient

#20 Post by Alan C. » February 2nd, 2009, 11:04 pm

verte wrote:If she really believes her prayers are helping her patients, I wonder why she doesn't just pray for them quietly without drawing attention to it. It almost sounds as if she wants to get proper credit for their recovery.
Quite!
Well said verte.
I think there is much more to this story than what we're reading in the tabloids, I'll bet my pension that she's been using her position to proselytise, if that's the case, she should be sacked.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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