Last month, a UK court rejected Sarah Kuteh’s most recent appeal. Sarah Kuteh is the name of a British nurse who was fired from the hospital where she had worked because she spoke openly with patients about her faith.
Kuteh is the latest of many cases of Christian medical workers in the UK who faced punishment for sharing their faith at work.
Court documents also allege that Kuteh, who is a Pentecostal Christian, encouraged the patient to sing along as she sang Psalm 23 and that she held his hand tightly as she prayed an “intense” prayer that went “on and on.”
Little more than two months after the incident, adjudicators had concluded that Kuteh’s conduct violated Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) rules, and she was fired for gross misconduct.
Although she was punished for what the law call “gross misconduct”, there are many others who have praised Kuteh’s methods.
Kuteh’s case is not unique, Caroline Petrie, another UK nurse was suspended from her job for offering to pray for a patient during a home visit; Shirley Chaplin, was dismissed from her position after she was ordered to remove or hide her crucifix for “health and safety” reasons and refused, setting in motion a case that made it all the way to international court. Richard Scott, British doctor, shared his Christian faith with a suicidal 24-year-old patient. Scott said the patient told him to “go for it” and was found guilty of malpractice.
In regards to all that, Physician James A. Tulsky of the Harvard Cancer Center says “Spiritual issues are central to patients’ experience of illness, particularly when they are really sick”. To ignore spirituality is to ignore a central piece of what it means for many people to be a patient”.