Accessibility options


Doctors: 'Let us pray for patients'

Date: 28/6/2009 18:16:24

Search: doctors BMA religion

Doctors are to demand the right to discuss religion with their patients and to pray for them, it has been reported.

The issue will be discussed at the British Medical Association (BMA) annual representative meeting which begins on Monday.

Cancer specialist Dr Bernadette Birtwhistle, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: "I think it is getting to the point where many of us feel we cannot talk to patients about their spiritual or religious needs or ask them about praying."

She told the BBC news: "Christianity is being seen as something that is unhelpful. Freedom of speech is being curtailed too much and I don't think that is always in the benefit of patients."

Earlier this year it emerged that nurse Caroline Petrie was suspended by North Somerset NHS Trust after offering to pray for a patient, although she was later allowed to return to work.

Campaigners have complained that more staff may find themselves in trouble if their religious beliefs come into conflict with the guidelines set out in a document called Religion or Belief: A Practical Guide for the NHS.

Advertisement starts


Advertisement

Advertisement ends

The document states: "Members of some religions ... are expected to preach and to try to convert other people. In a workplace environment this can cause many problems, as non-religious people and those from other religions or beliefs could feel harassed and intimidated by this behaviour.

"To avoid misunderstandings and complaints on this issue, it should be made clear to everyone from the first day of training and/or employment, and regularly restated, that such behaviour, notwithstanding religious beliefs, could be construed as harassment under the disciplinary and grievance procedures."

A Department of Health spokesman said the document was a guide to encourage awareness for staff and patients.

2015 © Press Association

Advertisement starts



Advertisement ends

Advertisement starts


Advertisement

Advertisement ends

  • Nigeria election: Buhari claims victory over Goodluck Jonathan
    Nigeria election: Buhari claims victory over Goodluck Jonathan
    Retired General Muhammadu Buhari has won Nigeria's presidential election but fears "tricks" from the government, his spokesman says. Garba Shehu said the opposition candidate's polling agents across the country say Gen Buhari has succeed
  • David Cameron's family star in first Conservative party General Election broadcast
    David Cameron's family star in first Conservative party General Election broadcast
    David Cameron is seen enjoying a meal at home with his family and watching his son play football in the Conservative Party's first general election broadcast. The theme of the film is children and features a number of parents outlining their hopes for
  • Italy v England: Harry Kane to start with Wayne Rooney
    Italy v England: Harry Kane to start with Wayne Rooney
    Tottenham striker Harry Kane will make his full England debut against Italy in Turin, Roy Hodgson has announced. It is hard to fathom the speed at which the 21-year-old's star has risen, having gone from third-choice striker at Tottenham to the nation
  • Eurovision: Why Conchita Wurst rejects her gay icon status
    Eurovision: Why Conchita Wurst rejects her gay icon status
    Bearded Eurovision star Conchita Wurst has said she is "not comfortable" with being seen as a gay icon. The Rise Like A Phoenix singer, who won the competition last year, said she preferred to be herself. "I'm not really comfortable (wi
arrow
Nigeria election: Buhari claims victory over Goodluck Jonathan
Retired General Muhammadu Buhari has won Nigeria's presidential election but fears "tricks" from the government, his spokesman says. Garba Shehu said the opposition candidate's polling agents across the country say Gen Buhari has succeed

5 day forecastMy local weather

Overcast
London
min: 10º
max:15º
 
 

Daily Pictures

Advertisement starts



Advertisement ends