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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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