Nurse Suspended for Offering Prayer to a Patient

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: February 2, 2009

A nurse was suspended from work without pay for having asked a patient whether she wanted prayer. The nurse has been reinstated after public protests.

Caroline Petrie is a nurse at Weston-super-Mare and was suspended without pay for asking a patient whether she would like to be prayed for. In the beginning of February, she has been reinstated after extensive media coverage. It was said that the patient in question had not been offended but the incident was reported and Mrs Petrie was told that she could face disciplinary action. On 28th January Mrs Petrie attended a disciplinary hearing on the basis that she had failed to demonstrate a ‘personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’ by offering to pray for the patient. For more information, please go to Please note: A Practical Guide For The National Health Service, states: «Members of some religions [...] are expected to preach and to try to convert others. In a workplace this can cause problems, as non-religious people and those from other religions could feel harassed». So «to avoid misunderstandings and complaints, it should be made clear from the first day of [...] employment, and regularly restated, such behaviour could be construed as harassment...». View more: