THE Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin has defended its mission ‘to participate in the healing ministry of Jesus’ after a staff member insisted that this policy discriminated against non-believers.
The unnamed complainant said:
I find the evocation of a religious figure, whom I do not recognise, in the policy text to be confusing and constraining.
The employee went on to say that the reliance on religious identity in the statement creates a hostile environment and is “confusing and constraining”.
The issue arose when the hospital employee – a non-Christian – told senior managers a difficulty had arisen at work since the hospital changed its procedures on policy statements. These now required the inclusion of a reference to the effect that the work of staff was guided by the hospital’s mission statement.
This Jesus trespassed in a hospital (around 7.45). Priceless!
The Mater Hospital is a voluntary hospital founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1861. The mission statement includes the statement:
The staff member said this requirement presented a number of difficulties, and was not aware of any research which suggested this ministry was consistent with:
By caring for the sick in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital we participate in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ …
Evidenced-based best practice. As such, I believe the policy of including this mission statement prevents me from authoring and adhering to policies in good faith based on religious identity.
The “practice” contravenes HSE dignity at work policy, the person suggested:
By creating a hostile environment for me to do policy work based on religious identity
Discrimination on religious grounds under the Employment Equality Act was also alleged.
The Mater said it was “welcoming of all religions and none” among staff and patients. A spokeswoman said:
We have 56 different nationalities on our staff and at all times respect their diversity.
The hospital’s mission statement has remained the same “for decades” though last year its use was:
Standardised across all policy templates for consistency, including on our website.
The hospital confirmed it had received one complaint on the use of the mission statement but said this has since been resolved.