Christian Nurse Loses Appeal

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: May 21, 2019

Sarah Kuteh loses case at Court of Appeal.

Sarah Kuteh, the Christian nurse who was fired for "gross misconduct" by the NHS for talking to her patients about her faith and occasionally offering prayer to help them prepare for surgery. Part of her job was to help patients complete a questionnaire, which included a question about religion. Read more about the case here.

Following a disciplinary hearing in August, Kuteh was dismissed with immediate effect, and referred to the Nurses and Midwives Council (NMC). Her dismissal was upheld by an Employment Tribunal. She appealed that ruling in 2017 and lost, although she was permitted to return to work in July 2018.

Kuteh filed a second appeal to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the employment tribunal had "failed to consider the correct interpretation of the NMC Code and the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate expressions of religious beliefs." She further argued that the Employment Tribunal had failed to consider that the right to manifest one's religion or beliefs under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights was applicable.

The judges at the Court of Appeal rejected those arguments, saying she was not unfairly fired.