Wednesday, March 21, 2007

World Faiths in Hospital

I was recently given a copy of the Chaplaincy document for a particular NHS Trust on how to deal with patients of various faiths. Having had a flick through the document I have been quite scandalised by the difference between how hospital staff should treat Christians and patients of any other faith.

Christianity has been divided into three sections Anglicanism, Catholicism and Free Church (what about the Eastern orthodox?).

Under 'Diet' for all three it suggests that on Fridays the patient may not eat meat (no, that's only Catholics) and they may wish to fast before receiving Holy Communion (again, only Catholics and Free Churches don't take communion to the sick because they don't believe in it).

Under 'Special Considerations' it is suggested the patient may like to have a copy of the Bible by their bed and in brackets is written '(The Gideon New Testament should be available on every patient's locker)'. Well, as a Catholic I would like an RSV Bible, not half the Bible in a dodgy translation!
Also, in other faiths when it is suggested the patient may like a copy of their Scriptures it is stressed that nothing must be placed on top of it - what about the Bible? No doubt they are stashed in the drawer in a dreadful condition among needles, dirty tissues, wasted food and all sorts.

Finally, under 'Care of the Dying', when non-Christian patients die they are to be laid in the Christian chapel, all Christian symbols removed and their symbols or holy words (OM, Khanda etc) are to be placed on the altar.

Is this not proof dear readers that Christianity has become the doormat of all other religions? Do we have any importance in the world? What is to become of us in the near future?

1 comment:

bernadette said...

If you wrote to your NHS trust with your points, they would listen. They have only made these decisions through ignorance. I spent an hour recently with a hospital chaplain in one of the biggest super-hospitals in Europe. He had no idea what catholics prefer or even believe. ( he was, I would say, a Methodist with New-Agey tendencies) He is trying to serve thousands of people of differing faiths and none. He needs to know what we believe. His job is also at risk as a possible NHS cutback. Come on, things are going to get a whole lot worse than this. Let`s tackle it.