U.K. Nurse Sues After Being Fired for Speaking About Her Faith With Patients

DARTFORD, Kent — A nurse in the United Kingdom has filed a lawsuit after being fired for “gross misconduct” in speaking with pre-operative patients about her faith.

Sarah Kuteh, a Roman Catholic who has worked as a nurse for 15 years, says that she was accused of having “unwanted discussions” with patients at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, as well as violating conduct guidelines regarding speaking about religion with patients.

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 outlines 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 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.

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However, as three patients complained following this time, Kuteh was investigated and then fired in August. 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.

“It was embarrassing for me and painful after all I had done in my years as a nurse,” Kuteh says of the firing. “I was told I couldn’t even speak to my colleagues. All I had done was to nurse from my heart. How could it be harmful to tell someone about Jesus?”

The NHS Trust has defending the firing, telling reporters, “We have a duty to our patients that when they are at their most vulnerable they are not exposed to unsolicited beliefs and/or views, religious or otherwise. We feel we have acted appropriately in this case.”

Kuteh is now suing for unfair dismissal.

Just last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May remarked that residents should feel free to speak about their faith at work, endorsing a report on the matter from the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship.

“I’m happy to welcome this report,” May, who is a member of the Church of England, said. “[W]e have a very strong tradition in this country of religious tolerance and freedom of speech, and our Christian heritage is something we can all be proud of.”

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  • bowie1

    I suppose the nurses will have to stick to just filling in the blanks unless the patient initiates the discussion.

  • Saunders61

    Pretty passive-aggressive of the patients to complain. If a nurse attempted to proselytize me, I would politely ask her to STFU and leave me alone.

  • Liberal Elitist

    That’s one way to get a captive audience.

  • dongszkie

    That’s the folly of our western hypocritical policy. Why can’t we hear a Muslim man is being prosecuted for talking about his Allah and the Qur’an and threatened those who does not convert to their faith?

    • Guest254

      Because they convert you with a knife to your throat.

      • Ambulance Chaser

        “They” don’t do anything. Muslims are not the Borg. There are 1.1 billion Muslims in the world. That means there are 1.1 billion interpretations of what Islam requires. Some are more fervent, some are less, but all are individuals.

    • james blue

      Perhaps because there are few cases where Muslims have been trying to convert others in the workplace or have stopped when asked to.

      However Muslims are fired all the time for taking prayer breaks.

  • james blue

    “On this “questionnaire” is there a box for “none of your business”?

    Unless it is a relevant medical question pertinent to the procedure they are going to undergo, if the patient leaves a box blank it should be considered as their choice to not answer and they shouldn’t be questioned on that choice.,

  • Guest254

    She told people how she found Jesus and how much peace and joy she has. Who would refuse that?
    People who believe in Jesus, just welcome the persecution, rejoice and be glad for so they persecuted the prophets before you. If you stand up for Him, He will stand up for you!

    • james blue

      “Who would refuse that?”

      Apparently the patients who complained.

      The article lacks details and only offers one side of the story about the specifics of the incidents the complaints arose from, so we don’t know if these patients politely or impolitely asked her to stop or if they felt too timid in the stressful period to speak up.

      There are probably many patients who would welcome it. The line is hard to define

      If a Christian patient left the box blank and an Atheist nurse started talking about how silly they felt belief is or a Muslim, Wiccan, satanist etc. talked about their faith, would you think the patient would welcome the chat?

      • Guest254

        Yes, I would gladly hear what they believe and then tell them why I believe in Jesus. I would not even bother to report them to their management.
        Jesus tells us that blessed is he who is not offended in Him, especially when persecution arises.

        James you seem like you want to know if Jesus is real. Well ask Him for yourself.

        • james blue

          “James you seem like you want to know if Jesus is real.”

          Upon what does that seem?

          • Guest254

            Hanging around Christian sites to oppose views. Maybe it’s just to be convinced. It’s hard to convince a hardened heart.
            Those that are pure in heart shall see God.
            Ask Him to reveal Himself. When he does. Argument settled.

          • james blue

            My comment history is open to public view. If you can find any comment I’ve made where I’ve said Christ doesn’t exist or that I don’t accept him as my savior please feel free to link to it.

            In the meantime perhaps you should consider that being able to show empathy or discuss flaws in an argument doesn’t mean one does not accept Christ.

            Not believing that anything other than total capitulation to any Christian’s wishes is persecution doesn’t mean one hasn’t accepted Christ.

            Thinking that it is up to us to make the sacrifices in our lives to live by our faith instead of expecting others to accommodate us, doesn’t mean one hasn’t accepted Christ.

            Not thinking that I’m being persecuted because others get to have their say as well doesn’t mean one hasn’t accepted Christ.

            I do not know nor care to comment on the sincerity of your faith, but I think you can guess what I think of your “holier than thou” attitude.

          • Guest254

            Have you accepted Christmas because your comments aren’t persuasive?

          • james blue

            Is English not your first language or are you deliberately trolling?

          • Guest254

            #1 you commented on my thread
            #2 you haven’t answered the question
            #3 it’s a difference between believing and knowing

            Being for Jesus means you can’t be for the world as well.

  • Pandorea

    If a nurse related a story about how she and her lesbian companion were adopting a child, and the patient said, “I don’t want to hear this,” they’d scream about the homophobia. The PC fascists won’t be happy until Christians’ lips are sewn shut.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Not-talking about one’s own belief is more impossible than not-talking about one’s own home state or home country. People are a religious entity including the atheists. Christians should be left free to tell the life-saving Good News of Jesus Christ everywhere. Anyone with conscience would share with others how to get saved! It is wrong for Western nations to treat talking about Christianity alone as a specific act of sharing a religion. People share their religious views all the time, just not detected, even by calling the nature “mother” and believing in self-determination and assuming that the world has come to exist by a big bang. That sort of things are religious, too. Secular nations let Eastern spirituality and atheism freely expressed but not Christianity. They just refuse Christian monotheism. It’s neither freedom or fairness.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    British fathers would be very sad in heaven, if they knew, that their homeland bullies a colored lady for sharing about Jesus Christ, while teaching the children that homosexuality perversion is something to be proud and that gender-difference does not exist. I hope today’s Britons know something about David Livingston. What an upside-down world the UK has become since his era. All the lessons the UK went through and the British forefathers’ contributions are coming to be nullified this century by the nation’s godless meaningless secularism. Man must not live for nothing; such a man gets filled only with hedonism. Secular humanism is abysmal corrosion for mankind. Western Europe needs Christianity for the truth, fairness, and civility.

  • Something Fizzy

    Fired for sharing her testimony. How mighty Britain has fallen.

    • nineleven

      since they have rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and chosen to cast his laws that give freedom, they will get sharia law instead and become a nation that is enslaved to the insanity of Islam taking more and more of their liberties. how sad.

  • PilgrimGirl

    How she found Jesus? No, dear, the Lord is not the one who is lost.

  • Ginger

    England the home of the lady of the lamp, Florence Nightingale. Who changed nursing practice ever since. She was a Christian that felt led by God to serve the sick. The Florence Nightingale Pledge that I took as a young nurse: “I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take or knowing administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.” Nursing is a calling science and art. One’s own moral integrity is important. Times have changed, but not for the better. How far the world have fallen.