Black care ban nurse wins payout
- 0May 17, '04 by nursebedlamMonday, 17 May, 2004, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Black care ban nurse wins payout
A black nurse who was banned from caring for a white baby after its racist mother complained, has been awarded £20,000.
Rosie Purves, 58, claimed she was the victim of racial harassment after the child was moved from her ward in 1995.
The baby was removed after the mother complained to staff she "did not wish a black person to care for her child".
Mrs Purves brought the case against Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, an employment tribunal heard.
The tribunal was told that the child, LS, suffered from cystic fibrosis and was brought into hospital for treatment between 1995 and 2002.
Tribunal chairman Martin Kurrein told the hearing on Monday that the child's mother admitted she had "no problem" with the care that Mrs Purves had provided but she was "a racist" and did not want a black person to care for her child.
Mr Kurrein said the trust was "effectively silent and complicit in the racist demands" made by the child's mother.
He added: "It was extremely hurtful for the applicant to be excluded from caring for a child simply on the basis of the colour of her skin."
Apology from Trust
The tribunal heard the nurse, who lives in Shirley Southampton, Hampshire, was also prevented from treating a second child, known as LD, in 2002.
The mother of LD had befriended LS' mother and subsequently also demanded that Mrs Purves should not care for her child.
After the hearing, Mrs Purves said: "I suppose I feel relieved but I am also sad it got to this stage in this day and age.
"I am pleased that I had the courage to do it and delighted that it's all over."
A spokeswoman for Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We made a mistake in the handling of this case by trying to provide care for a patient whose relative was racially abusive.
"In hindsight we should have refused treatment and in future will do so.
"Rosie is a superb nurse and we are sincerely sorry for all the distress this has caused her."
- 5,281 Views
- 0May 17, '04 by mercyteapotFrankly, I think it is more impressive that the hospital apologized than that she got a payout. I think here in the states (California, anyway), she would have won a much bigger settlement but wouldn't have heard the hospital admit to making a mistake in this or any other lifetime.
- 0May 18, '04 by watersnakeHi
Racism stinks, plain and simple. Ayn Rand, one of the most conservative authors I've ever read, referred to it as "judging men on the same basis one judges cattle".
Now....as a non-Arab male, and on several occasions as a male in general. I was excluded from O/R assignments involving Arab, and several non-Arab females. Fair enough, I was not offended. I want my patients to have complete autonomy and feeling of security. I did not consider it racism or sexism. On the other hand, the patients involved were not abrasive about it.
I have been informed that several black patients "hated honkies" treating them in E/R, but I was all that was available at the time. I didn't like it, but I guess I am secure enough that it didn't bother me, I didn't comprimise their care, and let it slide off my back. Sometimes, I ended up shaking hands on the way out. Believe me..remove virtually anyone from a group identification, be they white, gay, Arab, et.c., one can find a way to get along, one on one. Conversely, some people are just impossible, and there's no satisfying them, and no way around it.
The principle of penalty and punishment is to cause a person to do 'penance'
(ie, repent, cause a change of heart, et.c.), to restore that which was taken, or to deter future activities of a similar nature. It does not serve to heal hurt feelings, or to pay back in kind. This is resolved by forgiveness and change of heart on the offender's part, (in which the offended can play a valuable role) and don't expect them to change unless something inside of them changes.
As I've said before, Lawyers are a neccessary evil sometimes, but they usually get in the way. At worst you throw good money after bad, and no one comes out satisfied. Has this judgement changed these racist's opinion of blacks? I doubt it very much. Has it restored anything to the offended? I doubt that, too. Money does not cure stigma and insult. It keeps the court system functioning.
In conclusion, to put it country simple, you can't polish a tu*d. If a population of patients have their preferences, they are entitled to them as noxious as they may be, and the last time I read the Constitution, you can dislike anyone you wish, regardless of reason---Freedom of Association is guaranteed.
I am sympathetic to the involved Nurse's cause. But I don't think it's something that any amount of restitution or apology can remedy or deter. We cannot give our patients efficient care when everyone is walking on eggshells with a group or a lawyer lurking in the background prescribing practice for us. We can be better then them. We can stand on a superior moral ground. We can love and comfort to the best of our ability. Someone said (Was it Goethe?) "The most effective revenge is complete forgiveness".
SnakeLast edit by watersnake on May 18, '04
- 0May 18, '04 by KyriakaI am also happy about this ruling. But would it work the other way?? If a black woman did not want a white nurse to care for the child could the white nurse get payout?
You would assume so but perhaps not.
When I was a Real Estate Broker (about 4 years ago) if a client was white and did not want to work with black agent this was illegal. HOWEVER, if a black client wanted to work only with a black agent it was required that we do this.
- 0May 18, '04 by fergus51Quote from Susy KWell, here the only reason the hospital has to accomodate a patient request like that is if it is for religious reasons. So muslim women are not forced to have a man doing their vag exams. In practice, few women refuse male practitionners where I have worked. There were a lot of nights when there were no female OBs on and that's life. Due to the intimate nature of care in OB we would try to accomodate women as much as possible as far as gender, because a lot of women have abuse issues we don't even know about. Race was generally not allowed to become an issue. In my experience, if a hospital does not allow it to become one it rarely will. It's when someone gives patients the idea that they can handpick staff based on race that it becomes an issue. I have never gone into a room and said "Dr X, a black man, will be in to see you in a second".Purely playing devil's advocate here...
This is the first I heard of this case.
How does this relate, in your mind, to patients refusing a male practitioner (those of you in OB know what I'm talking about) whether it's for "cultural" reasons or personal comfort levels?
Since going into NICU nursing I have seen this type of thing from parents, generally used as a bit of a power game. There are parents who like to stir up ^&** and staff splitting can be a real problem unless it is nipped in the bud. A lot of these parents are in the unit everyday for months and that breeds a certain amount of...... I don't even know the word to describe it, but some parents start to think they are the medical professionals and the supervisors. And once ONE parent is allowed to play games like this, other parents will start. They need to know they will have a COMPETENT nurse to care for their child and that staff assignments are made my the charge nurse, not by the parents. This is not burger king. This is a hospital, and when we demand parents to behave appropriately they will. If we let them run the unit, they will do that too and it isn't in the patients' best interests.
- 0May 18, '04 by mattsmom81Quote from fergus51This happens in adult units too Fergus...particularly with open visiting. It becomes a big power game to today's demanding public. I believe these are cases of 'too much familiarity breeds contempt' and we need to set boundaries and limits more carefully.
There are parents who like to stir up ^&** and staff splitting can be a real problem unless it is nipped in the bud. A lot of these parents are in the unit everyday for months and that breeds a certain amount of...... I don't even know the word to describe it, but some parents start to think they are the medical professionals and the supervisors. And once ONE parent is allowed to play games like this, other parents will start. They need to know they will have a COMPETENT nurse to care for their child and that staff assignments are made my the charge nurse, not by the parents. This is not burger king. This is a hospital, and when we demand parents to behave appropriately they will. If we let them run the unit, they will do that too and it isn't in the patients' best interests.
I have had patients and families try to 'pick' their nurse, and to be honest, I let the individual nurse lead how we handle it. Frequently on our short staffed, hectic units, nurses just want to minimize problem and conflict so they will say "Just take me off that case if they don't want me." (for whatever reason) Who wants a problem in the making?? If a family member doesn't like me for ANY reason I'm happy to change assignments, because I don't need another headache on the job. But that's just me.