Apparently, Bigotry is Not a Barrier to Practice

A nurse in Queensland, Australia gets his licence back but really, if you were gay or lesbian (or anyone else, for that matter), would you want to be treated by him?

Sunshine Coast male nurse whose licence was suspended following an anti-gay tirade has been cleared to continue working with patients.

Equal rights activists raised concern over patient well-being after nurse Matthew George Price wrote an open letter to his former school last year calling for a “a world free of homosexuals”.

In the letter, published in a New South Wales school’s alumni newsletter, Mr Price declared himself a cured homosexual who was writing to world leaders including US President Barack Obama promoting “change”.

The Queensland Nursing Council suspended his nursing licence in August last year so it could assess his competence to work with patients.

Nursing Council executive officer Ross MacDonald yesterday told brisbanetimes.com.au the licence was re-instated two weeks ago.

“Mr Price was required to undergo an independent assessment to address concerns Council had about his fitness and competence for practice,” he said in a statement.

I’m pretty clear that holding idiotic or unpopular opinions shouldn’t be a barrier to holding a nursing licence. But it also occurs to me that Mr. Price might want to choose another profession where it might be more appropriate to spew his odious opinions. It’s not even a question of free speech. It’s a question of whether holding opinions dehumanizing others is compatible with being a nurse, its ethics and its ideals. And I’m thinking, maybe not so much.

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  1. #1 by b-bot on Monday 01 February 2010 - 2115

    Creepy. As a nurse, you have to be able to provide the highest quality care to ALL patients, and I’m not sure someone with so much hate toward a portion of the population can do that. At the same time, bigots who keep their mouths shut may be just as bad, but harder to pick out of the crowd.

    I also noticed the article had to point out he was a “male” nurse. Ha! All the assumptions we make . . .

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