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Nurse Fired for Religious Beliefs

Nurse Fired for Religious Beliefs

Anand Rao, 71, claims he has been sacked for suggesting a visit to a church during a training exercise

David Wilkes / Daily Mail

May 27, 2009

A nurse has been sacked after suggesting during a role play session on a training course that a ‘patient’ could go to church to relieve stress.

Anand Rao, 71, a committed Christian, was taking part in an exercise to see if he would advise a wife with a serious heart condition about how to reduce stress.

Mr Rao, who has 40 years’ nursing experience, said: ’The “patient” told me that her doctor had informed her that she would not live long and this had created stress.

‘I called on my spiritual point of view and told her it would be wise to go to church to ease her stress and if God wished she might live a little longer.’

It is understood the ‘patient’ did not feel his advice was sympathetic or suitable.

The course organiser, Leicestershire and Rutland Organisation for the Relief of Suffering, then sent a report to Mr Rao’s employer, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, where he had worked as a bank staff nurse for four years.

He was later dismissed for breaching the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s code of conduct on respecting a patient’s dignity.

Mr Rao, of Leicester, a married father-of-one who moved to the UK from India 40 years ago, said he was treated in a ‘heavy-handed and disproportionate’ way.

He is considering taking legal action for religious discrimination against his former employers and has instructed the Christian Legal Centre to advise him.

Yesterday, it was revealed how phlebotomist Helen Slatter, 43, a Roman Catholic, has been ordered not to wear a crucifix necklace by her bosses at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital because it could spread infections.


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    Sue7523

    almost 4 years ago

    224 comments

    What happend to mind body and spirit in the holistic care of the patient! We all know there are ways to broach the subject and to guage the patient's receptiveness...

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    mayragarcia

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am really appalled by the fact that good hardworking people are getting fired for their beliefs. As a recent graduate of nursing school, I learned to address the spiritual needs of a patient but yet if I do I may get fired. I bet if a nurse were to speak about other religious beliefs of another faith they would have no problem.

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    cherryful

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am Christian but I would never tell a patient that " if god wishes she might live longer" church and prayer can be good advice but if you know nothing of a persons religion who you are treating then i don't think people should bring their own religion into it. I am more then happy to offer prayer openly to those who ask me to pray for them... but i don't have to tell a patient who isn't christian that i am going to pray for them. I would hate to feel as if someones religious beliefs were being forced upon me and when people are sick they are more likely to see what you consider a kind gesture as a slap in the face to their beliefs. If this was the only incident where this nurse exhibited behavior the hospital didn't support then i think their actions are horrible but if as they say he had "had continuously shown a disregard for the nursing council’s code of conduct, which he had breached on more than one occasion.’ then maybe this was just honestly the last straw.

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    vickilynn

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Perhaps this was a way for the employer to terminate this experienced nurse because of his age and the benefits he might be receiving so that they might hire a young inexperienced nurse that they could mold to their thinking that would cost them less and that would not treat a patient "wholistically" (because they had not acquired that expertise or was one of the new wave of nurse working for a paycheck only). I also was- Obama terminated recently for standing up for our new President Obama. But we must remember as Christians that everything happens for a reason and what does happen is just in God's big plan for us.

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    Account Removed

    about 5 years ago

    This is ridiculous. I am proud to be a Christian and would have probably offered the same advice as this nurse.

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    1203867

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    It is high time we christians should understand the signs of the end time, as men will be lovers of themselves and doers of all manner of evil deeds. I am not suprised at the actions of Anand Rao's employers! At a time like this most patient really do need their complete state of health back and there is nothing wrong in this particular patient seeking spiritual assistance via the true God. Assuming the nurse sugested the patient should do some 'yoga' or go visit some wiz practitioner he might be lucky to have escaped beign fired. I am sure this employers have forgotten the complete definition of health as defined by The World Health Organization. And usingt the nursing process, "spiritual distress and risk for" In conclusion, nursing is a noble profession and those who must be at the helm of affairs in any unit of the hospital must really be people with sound minds and not the type of dummies ('employers') who just fired an innocent man.

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    trakmegordo711

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    I supposed if the nurse mentioned 'yoga ' and Zen practice of Buddhism that would not have been such a major problem .Let 's admit it -there has always been a hostile and intolerant perception of the Christian outlook and practice very much so in the marketplace. Again the nurse is just practicing nursing diagnosis and application ,as the previous commentary has mentioned - "spiritual distress and risk for " Furthermore have not nurses learned the one worldview of nursing has regarded compassion and service as a bedrock of the spiritual dimension of the practice? Tomde# 7

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    beewitte

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    The continuing ed instructor is the person at fault, for turning this over to the employer instead of teaching the nurse a more appropriate way to phrase his thoughts. Not everyone is open to religious counseling or treatments that violate their religious beliefs, that is why religious preference is usually part of the persons medical record. As for the crucifix, if that phlebotomist can not wear a crucifix due to risk for infection, is there a ban on all necklaces? If all necklaces are banned, this is acceptable. If only religious necklaces are banned she has a law suit.

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    Shannonfarrell

    about 5 years ago

    10 comments

    I think both nurses were treated very unfairly. This is discrimination against both of them for their spiritual beliefs. I do not feel they were imposing their beliefs on anyone else.

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    raymoss1

    about 5 years ago

    220 comments

    Again, another way the adminstration abuses their power. What will be used next to fire a nurse. I hope she sues and wins big.

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    Denis

    about 5 years ago

    22 comments

    We seem to have forgotten the following nrsg dx: Religiosity (impaired, readiness for enhanced, risk for impaired); Spiritual distress and risk for; and Spiritual well-being, readiness for enhanced. We could also throw in Energy field, disturbed and Distress, moral.

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    walk6miles

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    Nothing inappropriate or morally wrong as far as I am concerned; a large lawsuit should teach the offending hospital a lesson in TOLERANCE....a word they obviously never heard of.

    The phlebotomist should keep her crucifix under her collar/shirt....personal religious belief is another issue of TOLERANCE that employers need to acknowledge.

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