BMA meeting: Doctors vote against demanding right for doctors to pray for their patientsBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2742 (Published 06 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2742
- Deborah Cohen
Representatives at the BMA’s annual conference in Liverpool have voted against a proposal to seek protection from disciplinary action for any health workers who offer to pray for their patients.
Earlier this year the Department of Health issued guidance warning about proselytising, saying that discussing religion could be interpreted as an attempt to convert a patient, which could be construed as a form of harassment (www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_093133).
However, Bernadette Birtwhistle, an oncologist from Sheffield and a member of the Christian Medical Fellowship, proposed a motion arguing that offering to pray for a patient should not be grounds for suspension.
She also …