Why Would a Nurse Ever Say This to a Patient?

The Mighty asked readers to share a moment when they were in the hospital and something awkward happened. One reader who suffers from mitochondrial disease sent in this disturbing story about a nurse she once had:


She looked at me and said, “You obviously do not have God in your life.” I was shocked. My faith has always been strong. I could not even understand why this nurse would make that statement. She then told me, “God wouldn’t let this happen to you.” I was speechless for the first time in my life. At that point, I just laid there. I’m not proud that I didn’t stand up for myself at that point, but I simply had no words to express how I felt about what she had just said to me.

Mitochondrial diseases aren’t caused by anything you do, of course. They’re genetic in nature. The nurse was basically saying anyone with a genetic disease must be a victim of God’s wrath. Which makes you wonder why atheists, as far as I know, suffer from these diseases at the same rate as everyone else.

On the upside, the patient eventually got out of the hospital and is now an “advocate for those of us with rare, chronic diseases.”

On the downside, the nurse is still a nurse.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Tracey for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.