Nurse Suspended for Offering to Pray for Patient

LONDON, FEB. 5, 2009 ( A Baptist nurse, suspended for offering to pray for a patient, received a show of support from medical and religious organizations.

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The British Daily Mail reported Tuesday that Caroline Petrie has been backed by patients as well as chaplains of the hospital where she is employed.

While the chaplains have asked for new guidelines regarding the spiritual care of patients from the national health system, the Christian Medical Fellowship said that the treatment of Petrie can be considered «religious discrimination.»

The 45-year-old nurse, a mother of two, faces disciplinary action from being accused of failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity. She could be fired for asking an elderly patient if she would like her to pray with her.

The patient in question, May Phippen, 79, said she did not feel offended, but rather commented in passing to another nurse that she found it strange, and that it could be offensive for other patients.

Petrie said that her offer of prayer was her way of saying «get well soon.» She said, «I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. I was just trying to let a patient know that I was thinking of them. It’s just my way of saying [it].»

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