UK Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Christian Nurse Who Was Fired for Trying to Share Her Faith With Patients

A court of appeal in the United Kingdom has upheld a ruling that a nurse was not unfairly dismissed when she lost her job in 2016 over complaints that she was sharing her faith with patients.

“The respondent employer did not have a blanket ban on religious speech at the workplace. What was considered to be inappropriate was for the claimant to initiate discussions about religion and for her to disobey a lawful instruction given to her by management,” concluded the panel of Justices Gross, Singh and Haddon-Cave.

“It is important that cases such as this should not become over-elaborate or excessively complicated,” wrote Justice Rabinder Singh. “The respondent conducted a fair procedure, by way of investigation, at the disciplinary hearing and at the subsequent appeal.”

As previously reported, Sarah Kuteh, a Roman Catholic who has worked as a nurse for over 15 years, was accused of having “unwanted discussions” with patients at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, as well as violating conduct guidelines in regard to speaking about religion.

Part of Kuteh’s job included collecting and reviewing assessment questionnaires that included an inquiry about the person’s religion. If the person left the question blank, sometimes she would ask why, and would proceed to talk about her own faith.

“I discuss my religion with the patient and how I have found Jesus Christ and how much peace I have, especially when patients come to me feeling really, really devastated sometimes,” she outlined in a video released by the group Christian Concern. “I have had to reassure them on the basis of the joy and peace I have found in the Lord.”

Kuteh, who assessed an estimated 50 patients a week, received a warning in April 2016 and consequently sought to be more careful about the matter.

“I explained to [my supervisor] that this only comes about when I have to go through the questionnaire with the patient, because on the questionnaire there’s an area where the patient has to state their religion and that could prompt a conversation,” she said.

And after receiving a letter providing instruction about the issue, “I’d always say to the patient or ask the patient if they were comfortable, and most of them were,” Kuteh explained.

However, as three patients complained in the months that followed, Kuteh was investigated, suspended and then fired. According to the Telegraph, one patient said they were provided a Bible but did not want it, and another said that Kuteh was “preaching” at them.

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SOURCE: Christian News Network, Heather Clark