Title: AMER Aids Wiccan in Hospital Incident The Official Journal of the Alliance for Magi

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Title: AMER Aids Wiccan in Hospital Incident From: AMER Intelligence The Official Journal of the Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions, Volume 1, Number 1. copyright 1991 by AMER and the respective authors. All rights reserved. (Permission to reprint has been granted by AMER.) Gina Alley, a Wiccan priestess, was recently subjected to harassment and denied a pastoral visit at the Magaret R. Parde Hospital in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Ms. Alley was seriously injured in an automobile accident. Upon admission to the hospital, Ms. Alley was asked what her religion was. When a nurse who was supposed to be caring for Ms. Alley learned that she was a Wiccan, she began to make unfavorable remarks to her about her faith. These direct remarks were followed up by a phone call in which the nurse told Ms. Alley that her auto accident would not have happened to her if she had taken Jesus Christ as her personal savior. Ms. Alley's parents, who were not previously aware of her religion, demanded that the nurse in question be moved to another station. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. Ms. Alley was upset by her accident, by the shock of confronting her parents with her religion, and by the nurse's unkind remarks. She called Mr. and Mrs. Clardy, a priest and priestess of Ravenscry Temple, and asked for a pastoral visit. When Mr. Clardy called Margaret R. Parde Hospital and spoke to a nursing supervisor about visiting Gina Alley, no mention was made of a hospital policy which forbids patients who are not in critical condition from receiving visits of any kind, pastoral or otherwise, outside of visiting hours. Mr. Clardy represented himself as a local minister who wished to visit a member of his congregation who was in the hospital and who had begged for pastoral counseling. When the nursing supervisor heard this, she said that she would have a security guard meet Mr. Clardy at the emergency room entrance an escort him to the patient. Unfortunately, when the supervisor asked Mr. Clardy what patient he wished to visit and what his denomination was, her tune changed. She put Mr. Clardy on hold, and then returned, claiming that she had visited Gina, that the patient was not in distress and did not need to see her priest. She denied him permission to visit until visiting hours the next day. AMER originally learned of this incident from a Wiccan/Pagan Press Alliance news release. When we followed up by calling the hospital, the Clardy's and Lord Ariel of Ravenscry Temple for confirmation, we discovered that the Margaret R. Parde Hospital was attempting to cover up the incident. Although the nurse in question was no longer "on the floor", we couldn't learn whether she has otherwise been disciplined. The hospital claims that the offensive phone call was anonymous, and may not have been made by a member of their staff. They also claim that their policy regarding visiting hours is equitably enforced, although the Mr. Clardy's story clearly indicates that he would have been admitted had he been a Christian minister. The hospital says it has recently reminded its staff that Margaret R. Parde is a non-denominational institution, that the religious beliefs of patients are confidential, and that all patients are to be treated in the same manner. We hope that the hospital continues to educate its staff in appropriate behavior, and that some disciplinary action will e taken toward the nurse in question. /end of article/


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank