Victory for British Christian Nurse who Faced being Fired for Offering Prayer
By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service, February 5, 2009

SOMERSET, UNITED KINGDOM (ANS) -- In what was widely regarded as a 'political correctness gone wrong' decision, Caroline Petrie, the nurse from Weston-super-Mare who was suspended without pay for asking a patient whether she would like to be prayed for, has tonight been reinstated by North Somerset Primary Care Trust.

The Christian Legal Center, which represented her, says this is a welcome turn around and a clear victory for common sense.

The dramatic turn around by North Somerset Primary Care Trust comes days after extensive media coverage and news reports which revealed that Mrs Petrie, a born again Christian and mother of two, was suspended after her employers discovered that she had asked a patient whether she would like to be prayed for.

Although the patient in question was not offended, the incident was reported and Mrs Petrie was told that she could face disciplinary action.

Last week Mrs Petrie attended a disciplinary hearing on the basis that she had failed to demonstrate a "personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity" by offering to pray for the patient.

North Somerset Primary Care Trust, in a statement issued this evening, said that they recognized that Mrs Petrie had been acting in the "best interests of her patients" and that nurses did not have to "set aside their faith" in the workplace, and could "continue to offer high quality care for patients while remaining committed to their beliefs."

The Trust also said that for some people, prayer is recognized as an "integral part of health care and the healing process."

The Trust has contacted Mrs Petrie with the result of its decision and she will be returning to work in the near future.

Leading religious liberties barrister Paul Diamond advised Mrs Petrie and The Christian Legal Center supported her throughout the ordeal.

Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Center, said: "This is a great victory for Mrs Petrie, and for common sense. Today's decision highlights the importance of being able to take personal faith into the workplace rather than being forced to leave it at the door for fear of being silenced by equality and diversity policies."