Nursing in Great Britain: Offering Comfort Not Allowed

j0434135Almost daily come signs of an all-out war on religious faith, with the overwhelming majority of it aimed squarely at the Christian faith. 

I realize the story I’m about to examine occurred in Great Britain, and they do not enjoy the same freedoms, religious liberties, and constitutional protections we enjoy here in the United States. 

However, secularists and other liberals have for some time been demonstrating here in the United States that they have absolutely no regard whatsoever for the United States Constitution.

The First Amendment has been under assault by the Fairness Doctrine–repealed by Ronald Reagan but liberals threaten to bring it back. The First Amendment has also been under assault since 1954 when Senator Lyndon Johnson got a tax code provision passed to muzzle the church. It has also been under attack from the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act.

The Second Amendment is continually under attack, with efforts across the country to limit the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

The Tenth Amendment, limiting the federal government and reserving any powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution to the states and the people respectively, is a mere shadow.

And so are the enumerated powers, the constitutional limits on government found in Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. All three branches of the federal government have grossly violated constitutional limits since the reign of FDR.

So excuse me if I don’t take any comfort in the “constitutional protections” we are supposed to enjoy in America.

From WorldNetDaily:

Petrie, 45, a wife and mother of two, is a community nurse who works for North Somerset Primary Care Trust. As part of her job, she visits patients who are sick and elderly. Petrie said she never forced her Christian beliefs on any of her patients but simply asked if an elderly woman would appreciate the blessing.

“I simply couldn’t believe that I have been suspended over this,” she told the Telegraph. “I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. All I am trying to do is help my patients, many of whom want me to pray for them.”

Petrie visited the elderly woman, a resident in Winscombe, North Somerset, in December.

“It was around lunchtime and I had spent about 20 to 25 minutes with her,” the nurse said. “I had applied dressings to her legs and shortly before I left I said to her: ‘Would you like me to pray for you?'”

The patient said, “No, thank you.”

Shortly afterward, Petrie’s employer contacted her and asked her why she had offered the prayer. The patient, a woman in her late 70s, had complained to the trust.

Another nurse approached Petrie the following day and told her the woman had been surprised by the offer. Petrie apologized and asked if she had offended the patient.

The nurse replied, “No, no. She was just a bit taken back. You must be aware of your professional code of conduct. I would be careful.”

But that wasn’t the end of it. Petrie returned home to find a message on her answering machine. She was suspended without pay on Dec. 17 and forced to attend a disciplinary meeting. Petrie expects to be notified of her employer’s decision this week.

How pathetic that this nurse can’t even offer a moment of human compassion and comfort to a suffering patient.

There is no evidence whatsoever that this nurse forced herself on this patient. In fact, by the testimony of another nurse, the patient was not offended, merely surprised. And it’s not surprising that she would be surprised by an offer of prayer in todays secularist anti-God culture in the West.

Religious freedom is almost non-existent in Great Britain. Unfortunately, with political correctness run amok and many in the United States looking to Europe as a model, the United States isn’t far behind.

The “Land of the Free” is fast becoming the “Land of Those Bound to Political Correctness.”

31 Responses to “Nursing in Great Britain: Offering Comfort Not Allowed”

  1. Ronald Regan did not repeal the Fairness Doctrine. Stop making up facts.

    August 1987, the FCC abolished the doctrine by a 4-0 vote, in the Syracuse Peace Council decision, which was upheld by a different panel of the Appeals Court for the the D.C. Circuit in February 1989.[15] The FCC stated, “the intrusion by government into the content of programming occasioned by the enforcement of [the Fairness Doctrine] restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters … [and] actually inhibits the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and the degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists,” and suggested that, because of the many media voices in the marketplace, the doctrine be deemed unconstitutional.

  2. America wake up! You are right in saying that you are not far behind us. The UK has gone pc mad in the past 10 years. You cannot say or think anything that contradicts our “tolerant” leaders.
    Please don't follow us down this road

  3. It's completely wrong to say that 'offering comfort is not allowed in Great Britain'. Caroline Petrie has not been suspended for the specific act of offering to pray for a patient, but for 'failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity' – something she admits to having been warned about in the past too.

    The NHS is not against religion/religious comfort and spends around £20million of taxpayers money every year, employing chaplains of all faiths. Nurses are perfectly free to ask patients if they would like a visit from a chaplain, but the NHS is not a Christian organisation and cannot allow itself to be seen as promoting or favouring any one particular faith.

    It is clear that Mrs Petrie has overstepped the mark in this respect, so why is she receiving so much sympathetic press coverage? I wonder if the newspapers would have been so keen to jump to her defence had she been a muslim, offering to pray to Allah?

  4. The elderly patient was not offended, just “surprised.” Yet, she saw fit to complain to the nurse's employer. About what? Was she startled into a cardiac dysrhythmia or does she now have night terrors as a result of the unexpected offer? I suspect neither. I suspect that this woman is a liberal “free-thinker” who looks for opportunities to make life hard on believers. I know the type well. They are oh-so-tolerant about issues that reinforce their world-view but are compelled to take action against anyone or anything that threatens their “open-mindedness.”

    This can and does happen here in the USA. A colleague was seeing patients in the ER and between patients he went to the call room to get his Bible to look something up. Retuning to his work station he was unexpectedly called into a patient room, Bible in hand. He took care of the problem at hand and proceeded to his desk without any discussion with the patient about the Bible. Not even waiting to get home to write a letter, the patient called the nurse in and demanded that another doctor take over his case and also demanded to talk with the hospital administrator.

    Subsequently, the doctor was sternly reprimanded and a blanket policy instituted that forbade taking anything into a patient exam room that was not needed for the case at hand. This policy doesn't seem that onerous, but the situation that brought it on was completely innocuous. The doctor was simply walking down the hall with a book in his hand when the nurse asked him to step into a room because of a minor problem. The doctor sat his Bible down on a table, dealt with the problem and then left. Yet, the patient saw the opportunity to make trouble for someone who had clearly done nothing wrong but who was apparently a man of faith and thus an easy target for the patient's bitterness.

  5. Nice copy and paste from Wikipedia, jforbe. If you had also plagiarized the next paragraph from Wikipedia you would have included the following:
    “In June 1987, Congress had attempted to preempt the FCC decision and codify the Fairness Doctrine [16], but the legislation was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan. Another attempt to revive the doctrine in 1991 was stopped when President George H.W. Bush threatened another veto.[17]”

    So Ronald Reagan did, indeed, veto an attempt to re-institute the Fairness [sic] Doctrine.

  6. Who was president in 1987, placing them in charge of the FCC?

    Stop avoiding the truth.

  7. “Failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity” is a politically-correct bureaucratic way of saying “you can't offer any compassion or comfort to patients.

    It is clear the government is terrified of not paying the proper obeisance to the secularist worldview.

    And given the Europe's cowardly tendency to fall all over itself to accommodate Islam, I think she would be quite safe if Allah had been the destination of her offered prayers.

  8. Perhaps Christians don't realize the bombardment by evangelizing Christians us non-believers face in the course of our lives. While in day to day life we can easily decline because the prosthelytizer has no power over us this is untrue when in comes to positions of authority…ie. public school teachers, medical staff and police. It these instances you are subject to those in a position of power so these authority figures must be careful not to abuse it. Recent history is wrought with examples of students, patients and those arrested being disadvantaged when they reveal that they do not share “the faith”. Their is fear to conform or you might be given lower grades, less quality care or a harsher reaction from police. Remember the most recent Gallup poll showed that over half of americans wouldn' t vote for an atheist for president and 48% would disapprove if their child was going to marry an atheist. The number s are also high for unpopular religions like Islam. If someone is sick they shuoldn't have to out themselves as being non-believers or believers in a different faith and this is wha happens when a nurse asks if you would like her to pray for you. Fellow Christians would not say no so then the defacto is that anyone who says no is non-Christian. It is unethical for persons of authority like a medical care provider to force someone into that position. The result is making the patient uncomfortable. Irony considering the title of this article…or is it just Christians oatients comfort we should concern ourselves with. Bottom line chaplains are availble to offer spiritual councelling if comfort is needed and nurses are availible to give objective care to people of all faith;s without making them defacto reveal their faith or lack there of.

  9. I'd like to see some proof that Christians give lower grades, less quality care, harsher reaction from police, etc. to people who don't “share the faith.” Without it, frankly I don't buy the claim. Not only is there a dearth of evidence for the claim, such actions would run counter to Christian teaching.

    If you don't want to be a Christian and don't want to share the faith, that's your choice. Unlike Islam, Christian doctrine acknowledges that a person must believe freely and coercion accomplishes nothing.

    I think this whole anti-Christian sentiment is rather the desire to avoid the reminder of moral accountability. The conscience, the recognition of a set of laws that comprise objective truth, is something God built into us. Even the person who claims no faith in a deity at all is still built with this inside.

    Encountering a Christian–especially one whose faith is very real and genuine to them–triggers a response from that conscience…one that a person running from it doesn't like.

    That's what the effort to silence Christianity in the public square is really about: silencing anything that can trigger that “Maybe I'm wrong” response from the built-in conscience.

  10. I do wonder what the attitude of most of the people writing here would have been if the nurse had suggesting praying to Zeus, burning some incense, slaughtering a few chickens or perhaps calling on Satan for his intervention? Oh but of course Christians are “different”, they are special their god is “real”, yawn. All this woman had to do is keep her superstitious beliefs to herself, if she believed that her praying would do the lady good, she could have done it on her own time.

    Perhpas the old lady turning down the nurse's offer was onto something, for one major studying carried out into the efficacy of prayer found that praying for the sick did indeed have an effect on recovery rates, in that it markedly reduced them. The Christian group paying for the research rapidly withdrew the funding for further study, I wonder why?

  11. I wonder how many people there are in society who pray to Zeus, slaughter chickens or call on Satan for intervention? I also wonder how many people such as this are in the nursing field?

    Or is it really a red herring to avoid the real issue. If I had to say, I'd bet on the herring. It's easier than facing the facts and dealing with them.

  12. While I would argue that prayer certainly has therapeutic value, Ray Miles does bring up a good point.

    Bob, you didn't take his comment seriously because as you implied, hardly anyone prays to Zeus anymore. But for centuries, many people did. The ancient Greeks were absolutely certain that their gods were real (as certain as you are that Yahweh is real), but over time their stories have become nothing but myths. What was once Greek religion is now Greek mythology – full of neat stories and moral lessons, but that's about it.

    That's the fascinating evolution of religion: ideas that were once considered normal and “real” by the majority are eventually discarded as the outdated ravings of a superstitious minority; a minority which, as you have just demonstrated, is not taken seriously. It's literally just a matter of time before the same thing happens to Christianity.

  13. I didn't take it seriously because it was intended to distract from the issue at hand.

    You do bring up a somewhat interesting point about fallacious ideas which are eventually proven to be wrong. Indeed, the religion of the ancient Greeks, Romans, etc. have proven to be unfounded and at odds with science.

    Meanwhile, the Judeo-Christian Bible remains completely harmonious with science, and not a single thing from that Bible has been proven false, in some 2,000-3,500 years.

    Quite an impressive record. That might inspire some open minds seriously interested in truth to give it a genuine and deep look…

  14. Bob,

    The Bible is certainly not completely harmonious with science – and that's the point. It's not supposed to be. (The miracles of Christ come to mind.)

    And again, you rely on the “defense” that not a single thing from the Bible has ever been proven false. That's because most of its claims by their very nature CANNOT be proven false! I really can't comprehend why you think it's even relevant to say such a thing. It's like if I were to argue in favor of the existence of elves under the premise that not a single claim of “The Lord of the Rings” has been proven false!

    Your final paragraph might explain why a lot of anti-religious folks get so annoyed with evangelicals. It's the constant, relentless proselytizing. Repeating the same message over and over doesn't make it any more true or convincing; if anything, it just gets more obnoxious. You have conversed with me enough times to know that I would take you up on your offer if I were interested. I'm not, and I've made myself perfectly clear that I'm not. The courteous thing would be to acknowledge my disinterest and stop trying to convert me.

  15. Not true, cinemaphile85. The Bible makes many, many scientific and historical claims. Some of them cannot be verified using eternal means because they happened prior to any other recorded history and because some of those events were supernatural in nature.

    But a host of scientific and historical claims which CAN be verified remain. Many have been proven correct, many remain unverified…but not disproven either. Few if any text of any nature can live up to that standard, religious or otherwise. (Even books written about evolution over the years don't have 1/10,000th of the solid record of the Bible–the theories about various facets of evolution that get tossed out in favor of new ones every year illustrate this).

    The Lord of the Rings does not claim to be a genuine work of truth. Even if it did, has there been a shred of proof of the existence of elves, dwarves, or a ring to rule them all? No. Meanwhile, a host of historical and scientific claims made by the Bible have been verified by extra-Biblical means to be true and accurate.

    As for proselytizing, I haven't gone out of my way to proselytize you. But you come here to my web space on a daily basis and attempt to proselytize me to your faith.

    Don't you think it must get old for us Christians and old-time patriots to be continually proselytized by a bunch of socialists, when the proof that our worldview works is right before us in the greatest nation humanity has ever seen? And evidence that the socialist worldview is a deadend street is all around the world with multiple current and historical examples?

    While my faith has not been proven false once, the socialist faith has over and over and over again.

    We all proselytize (unless we're wallflowers who never speak our opinion). But some faiths have a little more going for them. And some of us go a little farther out of our way to proselytize.

  16. If some of the Bible's claims cannot be verified or proven, then the Bible is only *partially* harmonious with science, not completely. You should be more careful with your words. And as I said, I don't think the Bible was ever meant to be scientific. Most of its fundamental claims – the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, the miracles, the resurrection, etc. – are supposed to be taken on faith alone, not science, because there is no possible way they can be proven.

    And did you just call me a socialist? That's weird… I don't think I've ever claimed to be one.

  17. Can all the claims of evolutionists be verified or proven? No. Can most? No. Can any? No.

    So the Bible is still far, far, far ahead of the claims of materialism/naturalism/evolution. And those not yet verified are just that: not yet verified.

    You are correct that the Bible was never meant to be a a science textbook. It does, however, contain many facts and truths about science.

    Those truths that can and have been verified should help us believe those that cannot be verified, like the ones you mentioned. In fact, I think that's why God made the balance of verifiable and unverifiable. We need to exercise faith to please God (something Adam and Eve–who brought all this mess upon us–failed at), so he provides opportunity to exercise a reasoned, informed faith.

    I called you a socialist because you frequently espouse socialist ideas, philosophies and positions in keeping with the key tenets of socialism. If the shoe fits…

  18. I think I understand now. You're assuming that all of the Bible's claims will *eventually* be proven, so in the meantime, you're taking kind of a “true until proven false” position.

  19. Yes, on the foundation that in all these thousands of years and myriad of examinations by hostile skeptics, not a thing has been proven false. I think that's a pretty safe place to be…especially when I know firsthand the miracle God has worked in my own life.

  20. *sigh*

    Again, Bob… it doesn't matter if it takes a thousand years or a trillion years. The essential claims of Christianity CANNOT be proven false, ever.

    Ok, I think we're done.

  21. I guarantee you that within the next 100 years (probably less) you will know whether those claims are true or not. And I'm betting my eternal soul that you'll find they ARE true.

  22. Jerry Falwell made a similar guarantee; he was absolutely certain Christ would return during his lifetime.

    Looks like he was wrong.

  23. Oh, and THAT must be why you don't care about global warming! The truth finally comes out! 😛

  24. Looks like he was. He should have stuck with what the Bible is clear on–there's more than plenty of that.

  25. Oh, I think you misunderstood me, then I misunderstood you.

    I don't know whether Christ will come back in the next 5 minutes or 5 million years.

    But in less than 100 years, you'll be dead…and then you'll know whether those claims in the Bible are true.

  26. *sigh*

    Again, Bob… it doesn't matter if it takes a thousand years or a trillion years. The essential claims of Christianity CANNOT be proven false, ever.

    Ok, I think we're done.

  27. I guarantee you that within the next 100 years (probably less) you will know whether those claims are true or not. And I'm betting my eternal soul that you'll find they ARE true.

  28. Jerry Falwell made a similar guarantee; he was absolutely certain Christ would return during his lifetime.

    Looks like he was wrong.

  29. Oh, and THAT must be why you don't care about global warming! The truth finally comes out! 😛

  30. Looks like he was. He should have stuck with what the Bible is clear on–there's more than plenty of that.

  31. Oh, I think you misunderstood me, then I misunderstood you.

    I don't know whether Christ will come back in the next 5 minutes or 5 million years.

    But in less than 100 years, you'll be dead…and then you'll know whether those claims in the Bible are true.