Canadian hospital bans bedside Bibles for health reasons

The administration of a regional hospital in the Canadian Province of New Brunswick has decided to ban the bedside bibles that once comforted patients on the grounds that they are a health hazard.

catholicireland.net reports that hospitals in Canada are facing a rise in the rates of serious infections due to "staff carelessness" and poor implementation of prevention protocols.

Since the SARS scare in Toronto in 2003, hospitals have taken greater care with possible outside instruments that might carry illness-causing bacteria.

"We have disinfection processes to disinfect other surfaces, but we don't have anything to disinfect books," Jane Stafford, a spokeswoman for the River Valley Health Authority, which operates the 350 bed Dr Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, which placed the ban.

"The influenza virus, when you cough or sneeze, can live on hard surfaces for 48 hours," he said.

catholicireland.net says that at the same time, hospitals are also following a trend towards secularisation in common with most Canadian institutions. The mayor of Frederickton has accused the hospital of acting on 'political correctness' that abhors any expression of Christianity in public.

Rev. Karl Csasz, a hospital chaplain argues that the hospital's action is inconsistent.

"If the Bible is a threat in a drawer, where does it stop?" said the pastor of Fredericton's Skyline Acres Baptist Church. "Is it possible for these germs to reside and live on lampshades, curtains? You see what I'm saying."

The hospital administrator also did not mention any plans to prohibit any other printed material such as magazines which are handled by many people every day.

Canadian hospital bans bedside Bibles for "health reasons" (catholicireland.net 25/4/05)
Hospital bans bedside Bibles (WorldNetDaily 23/4/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital
Skyline Acres Baptist Church
The Gideons International

Canadian hospital bans bedside Bibles for "health reasons" (Catholic World News 25/4/05)

27 Apr 2005