Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Prayer row nurse remains defiant

Caroline Petrie
Mrs Petrie became a Christian at the age of 10 after the death of her mother

A Christian nurse who was suspended for offering to pray for a patient says she cannot divorce her faith from being a nurse.

Community nurse Caroline Petrie, 45, from Weston-super-Mare asked an elderly woman patient if she wanted her to say a prayer for her recovery.

The patient complained to the health trust about Mrs Petrie's actions.

On Friday, Mrs Petrie told BBC News: "It's part of me. I can't divorce my faith from being a nurse."

She added: "I can't divorce my faith from who I am."

'Healing process'

After reinstating Ms Petrie North Somerset HNS Trust said it did value spiritual support, which is why there were chaplains and multi-faith prayer rooms in NHS buildings.

In a statement the trust said: "For some people of faith, prayer is seen as an integral part of health care and the healing process.

"Nurses like Caroline do not have to set aside their faith, but personal beliefs and practices should be secondary to the needs and beliefs of the patient."

Ms Petrie had been suspended, without pay, on 17 December after asking the elderly female patient if she would like a prayer said for her.

The patient, believed to be in her 70s, refused and Mrs Petrie said that she left the matter alone.

The sick woman contacted the trust about the incident and Mrs Petrie was challenged by her superiors.

Mrs Petrie, who qualified as a nurse in 1985, became a Christian following the death of her mother.

Print Sponsor

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