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Cases

Dr Scott, a Christian GP from Margate, Kent, with 28 years experience as a doctor, has been issued with an official warning and is currently under investigation by the General Medical Council following a complaint that he shared his faith with a patient during a consultation.

Colin Atkinson, a van driver, was asked to remove his palm cross he had displayed for fifteen years from the dashboard of his Housing Association vehicle by Wakefield District Housing (WDH) following a complaint. Mr Atkinson was under threat of disciplinary action for refusing to comply.

In 2008, experienced foster carers Eunice and Owen Johns applied to foster a child in Derby but their application stalled because of their Christian sexual ethics.

Lesley Pilkington, a counsellor, was secretly recorded by an undercover journalist during a counselling session. The journalist was a homosexual man who deceived her into believing that he wanted counselling for unwanted same-sex attraction. Mrs Pilkington confirmed that she would be happy to meet with him but only within a Christian counselling context and he agreed.

Gary McFarlane, a relationship counsellor from Bristol, was dismissed for gross misconduct by Relate after he refused to confirm that he would provide directive sex therapy to homosexual couples due to his religious beliefs. Mr McFarlane had never refused to provide sex therapy to a ‘live couple’ but had told his managers that if the issue arose he would discuss it with them.

Kwabena Peat, a Christian teacher, was suspended after he sent letters to other staff members complaining that a staff training day was used to promote homosexual rights, and to marginalise and label those who disagreed with homosexual practice. Following intervention by the Christian Legal Centre, Mr Peat was reinstated but was the recipient of continuing harassment since returning to work.

Dr Sheila Matthews was dismissed from her role on the local authority’s adoption panel after requesting to refrain from voting when homosexual couples were being considered by the panel as potential adoptive parents. Dr Matthews resigned from her job as a paediatrician and brought a claim against Northamptonshire County Council on the grounds that she had been discriminated against because of her faith.

Caroline Petrie, a nurse from Weston-super-Mare, was suspended without pay for asking a patient whether she would like to be prayed for. North Somerset Primary Care Trust suspended Mrs Petrie even though the patient in question was not offended. The incident was reported by a nurse who visited the same patient the day after Mrs Petrie had offered prayer.

Duke Amachree, a homelessness prevention officer for Wandsworth Council, was suspended after suggesting to a client who was suffering from an incurable illness that doctors did not have all the answers, and for asking her whether she had tried putting her faith in God. He was then later sacked for gross misconduct.

Shirley Chaplin, an NHS nurse, was faced with disciplinary action after being told that she was no longer permitted to wear her cross while at work on health and safety grounds. The NHS Trust indicated that they would permit exemptions in their uniform policy for religious and cultural symbols that were ‘mandatory’ within the religion.

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