NHS Adverse to Religious Expression: UK Nurse Disallowed From Wearing Crucifix

by Tanya Thomas on  April 9, 2010 at 10:59 AM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
 NHS Adverse to Religious Expression: UK Nurse Disallowed From Wearing Crucifix
After health bosses found the crucifix on her neck a 'safety issue', a nurse hailing from Kenn near Exeter has been asked not to wear the religious symbol while on the job.

They said a patient could grab the crucifix.

According to Daily Star, Shirley Chaplin has worn the symbol for 31 years, and now she is being ordered to hide it by Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust.

The 54-year-old nurse was moved to a desk job, when she refused to pin the crucifix inside her uniform.

Chaplin dragged the trust to an employment tribunal for discriminating against her and argued that that the cross was an "exceptionally important" expression of her faith. To hide it or treat it disrespectfully would "violate her faith", she added.

The nurse lost the case at the employment tribunal despite asserting that she had a personal conviction to wear the crucifix, a confirmation gift she possessed from 1971.

"I view this as a clear discrimination against Christians. The trust clearly regard themselves as experts on religious manifestations of all faiths," she said.

Panel chairman John Hollow, however, said the trust had acted reasonably in trying to reach a compromise.

He pointed out that Sikhs had been ordered to remove wrist bangles and Muslim doctors had been told to switch to tight-fitting hijabs.

After the ruling, the nurse said, "It was a very bad day for Christianity. Every Christian at work will now be afraid to mention their beliefs."

The verdict came after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, had blasted "wooden-headed bureaucratic silliness" during his Easter sermon.

Source: ANI

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