Christian Nurse Rightly Sacked For Giving Bible To A Patient – UK Court

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You may remember Sarah Kuteh, a nurse who was dismissed from her job after talking to patients about her faith in Jesus Christ and giving a Bible to one patient.

Sarah Kuteh, a Christian nurse dismissed from her job for talking to patients about her faith
Sarah Kuteh, a Christian nurse sacked for talking to patients about her faith

A Christian nurse who offered a bible to a cancer patient and encouraged him to sing The Lord is My Shepherd was fairly dismissed, a UK court has ruled.

Recall that in 2016, Sarah Kuteh was given the sack from her job at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, for talking to patients about her faith in Jesus Christ and occasionally handing out a bible, in what was called breach of Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) rules.

Sarah sued for unfair dismissal after she was sacked by a hospital trust.

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However, a ruling, published last week by the Court of Appeal, stated that on June 3 2016 a patient at the hospital had complained about Ms Kuteh’s conduct.

The court heard how the patient likened the incident to a ‘Monty Python skit’, which he said was ‘very bizarre’ – in which she encouraged him to sing along with Psalm 23 with her.

The ruling, which upheld a decision that she was fairly dismissed by the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, stated: “On 20 June 2016, the Complaints Department noted a call from a patient being treated for cancer concerning his assessment by the Claimant on 3 June 2016.

“He had replied “open minded” to the question on the form concerning religion and alleged the Claimant had told him that the only way he could get to the Lord was through Jesus.

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“(She) told him she would give him her bible if he did not have one; gripped his hand tightly and said a prayer that was very intense and went “on and on”; and asked him to sing Psalm 23 [The Lord is My Shepherd] after which he was so astounded that he had sung the first verse with her.

“He described the encounter as ‘very bizarre’ and ‘like a Monty Python skit’.

The court documents also point to a number of other incidents, in which Ms Kuteh told a bowel cancer patient in April 2016 ‘that if he prayed to God he would have a better chance of survival’

Another complaint, again in April 2016, came from a patient who said Ms Kuteh ‘spent more time talking about religion than doing the assessment’, and another, the same month, came from a patient who said they didn’t want to see Ms Koteh as they ‘didn’t like preaching’.

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Miss Kuteh, a 50-year-old mum of three, was suspended from her job in June 2016 and sacked for gross misconduct in August the same year, with her dismissal upheld by an employment tribunal later the same year.

She appealed the ruling of the tribunal in 2017, but failed in her bid to have her sacking overturned, but was allowed to work as a nurse again in July last year after her working restrictions were lifted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ms Kuteh, however, appealed for a second time against her sacking to the Court of Appeal – saying the employment tribunal had ‘failed to consider the correct interpretation of the NMC Code and the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate expressions of religious beliefs’.

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She also said the tribunal had failed to acknowledge that Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights – Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs – was ‘applicable’ and to ‘consider the fact-sensitive distinction between true evangelism and improper proselytism’.

Judges at the Court of Appeal, however, rejected the nurse’s most recent appeal, saying she was not unfairly dismissed in a ruling published last week.

The Christian Legal Centre – which represents Ms Kuteh – said she is currently in discussion with her legal team to consider her next step.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Below are my considered opinions on this matter:
    1) Christians professionals shouldn’t impose their faith on clients
    2) Christians exercising their compassion and concern for clients should not be penalised under the false pretence of objection to evangelisation of a vulnerable person, as the motive is concern for the client, not evangelisation
    3) Clients should have a right of complaint about any professional, but the nature of the complaint needs to concern the care offered, not objection to a professional’s compassionate approach!
    4) The inconsistency and therefore hypocrisy of this kind of situation, is that while a Christian nurse out of compassion has shown spiritual care to a patient, to fulfil their spiritual needs, and been sacked for it, a large number of nurses and carers instead of adding some real qualitative care like this, actually neglect to fulfil all of the clients physical needs but are not sacked for this! In a democracy where we seek to establish fair and just laws and their implementation, this kind of singling out Christian nurses for genuine care for their clients, is a total hypocrisy and sham, when many nurses and carers, do not even fulfil some of the basic requirements, yet receive no criticism and are not sacked. What this means is that the legislative systems of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Employment laws, have been unjustly and unfairly skewed against Christians by humanistic influence, for example from the British Humanist Association and similar political lobbies. The obvious fact to be noticed is that in previous times of British history, for example during the world wars, nurses were not sacked for giving compassionate care and spiritual care to terminal or dying patients. This is a relatively recent change, influenced by activists and lobbyists, who not only object to religious faith, but object to others benefitting from it! While one can tell a Christian nurse, ‘No thank you’, the action of receiving this compassion, seemingly consensually while later or secretly planning to formally complain about it, means in practice that the patient cannot in fairness complain about this, having consented to it at the time! Such complaints should not be received if nurses are to be treated with the respect that they deserve for the work involved.
    5) Until professionals in general, who do not fulfil the basic requirements for their clients, are dismissed, then employers have no moral right to dismiss Christians who out of compassion, show spiritual care for clients.

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