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British hospital chaplains encourage Catholic identity cards

The Association of Catholic Women in the UK has introduced an identity card scheme for hospital patients who are Catholics, to help overcome problems caused by European Union legislation that prevents chaplains asking the religion of patients.

EU enforcement of the 1998 Data Protection Act has serious implications for parients unable to speak, or those have been sent for treatment to a hospital far from their parish community.

The new laminated card states: "Identification as a Roman Catholic. In case of admission to hospital, please contact a Roman Catholic priest. I would like my nursing care to include fluids - however administered."

Commending the initiative, Westminster hospital chaplaincy coordinator Fr Peter Scott told Independent Catholic News: "Parishes and church communities also need to respond to this new legislation. The bishops are still examining these new rulings."

He said the Diocese of Westminster is planning to issue parishes with a poster giving details of all local hospital chaplains.

Independent Catholic News

Diocese of Westminster
Hospital Chaplaincy Gateway

4 Jul 2003