The patient, believed to be in her 70s, refused [the prayer] and Mrs. Petrie insists she left the matter alone.
The sick woman contacted the trust about the incident and Mrs. Petrie was challenged by her superiors.
So far, the only information we have about this is “he-said-she-said.” GREAT stuff to go off of. Mrs. Petrie also claims that the woman wasn’t offended, but that “[she] was concerned that someone else might be.”
Even better! Now it’s not even an imminent problem either!
I think that however much prayer should be kept to oneself, there is no interpretation of freedom of speech that does not allow somebody to ask you whether or not you would like to be prayed over. Admittedly, it’s not the nurse’s place to be administering prayer to the needy in the first place, but that doesn’t mean it’s rude and arrogant to ascertain whether or not your faith will be well received.
Don’t get me wrong, I would have had a problem if this had gone on and Mrs. Petrie had started lecturing about hell and the evils of a godless life and the dangers of recovery without divine intervention, but it didn’t. The complaint proffered by the patient was that it MIGHT offend SOMEBODY ELSE. Why are we getting so worked up about this? This whole issue with the nurse is just a proxy war to evict all religion from the nursing profession.
Atheists and Humanists shouldn’t be fighting to evict religion from the entire nursing profession – that’s the next step toward becoming what we hate. When was the last time you heard of a radical group trying to make sure their opinion was the only opinion, and using limits on freedom of speech to get there? If the places in this argument were swapped, and Christians were railing against atheist influence in a profession, there would be outrage in the atheist community if freedom of speech was limited without good reason. It would be one thing if Petrie was foisting her religion on others, but she wasn’t.
What do you think? Should a prayer offering be punishable as long as refusal is acknowledged, or is it a violation of the patient’s rights either way?