Thursday, 5 February 2009

I just signed a petition in support of Caroline Petrie,

the nurse facing disciplinary action for offering to pray for a patient, here. Terry Sanderson of the NatSecSoc has thrown all his toys out of the pram over this. My comment on the Telegraph piece was:
I'd like to register my support for Caroline Petrie. An offer to pray is just that, an offer - and a kind offer at that. How does this amount to an attempt to impose her beliefs on others?
But then, I would say that.

Update (22:53): For some reason my comment didn't make it past the mods, but that doesn't matter because now Mrs. Petrie has been reinstated. Hooray.


Paul Wright said...

I think it was unprofessional (or, to use a word that evangelicals liked when I was one, "inappropriate") for the nurse to bring religion into a conversation with a patient who she didn't know shared her Christian beliefs. It certainly isn't a sacking offence, though. I thought that was more or less what the NSS article said.

mattghg said...

How do you feel about the fact that she was suspended without pay for over a month? Sanderson seems to think this is a good thing, given that he says:

North Somerset Primary Care Trust was right to suspend Caroline Petrie who put a patient in just such a position. She blatantly broke the code of conduct which she had signed up to; it states quite clearly: you must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health.

This response assumes that
1. an offer to pray is an effort to "promote a cause", and
2. it is "not related to health".

Fact is, only a secularist unable to imagine seeing things from another point of view could just assume that those two points aren't even up for debate (blatantly!). I don't agree that what she did was unprofessional, and it seems that patients' groups are on my side here, according to The Times. I wonder if Sanderson sees this as another example of "the right-wing press" falling "victim to religious mania" (now who's mixing religion and politics?)?

P.S. the Nadia Eweida case is an entirely separate issue. I agreed with Alex Fear about that one (although I didn't bother commenting on the post at the time, so you'll just have to take my word for it).

Paul Wright said...

She should have been censured. Being suspended without pay during an investigation sounds unfair to me, since it's punishing someone who's not yet been convicted, as it were.

Ms Petrie is an evangelical Christian. If her offer to pray wasn't promoting a cause, she's doing it wrong!

The problem with this is that allowing this sort of thing opens the door to everyone who wants to do it (or it ought to, unless you think the NHS should accord some special status to Christianity): if she'd been a pagan who wanted to people to pray to Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, I doubt the usual suspects in the Tory press would be jumping up and down, or at least, not on her side.