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Easter in a Catholic hospital

From Berlin/ Germany: I have never been happier for a religious festivity to end than this Easter!

My mother had to be admitted to hospital last Thursday and after her successful operation she was allowed to leave yesterday. The doctors seemed as professional as possible, so absolutely no reason to complain there.

Only catch: she was admitted to a Catholic hospital.

Never had I given Catholic hospitals any thought. But the problem is, in case of emergency, you get sent to the next available hospital, and it follows that it does not matter in the slightest whether the hospital's spirit is atheist, humanist or possessed by a weird cult.

The Catholic principles informing the hospital's professional practice were displayed in each corridor. A charming read. So reassuring when you're an atheist! They also had a nice, big crucifix above every door and of course in every patient room.

Right opposite my mother's bed was displayed Christ on his cross, his lifeless head hanging between his two wooden clavicles, the eyes closed and the expression of sadness on his face second to none.

And that is supposed to make you well? That is supposed to cheer you up???

Had my mother not been slightly out of her right mind from the operation, I am sure she would not have patiently listened to the Catholic church nurse singing religious hymns at her bedside. Luckily, by Sunday she was her old self and did not succumb to the pressure of attending the hospital service in their own "hospital chapel".

Admittedly my annoyance was benign. But I can't quite shake off a sense of anger and astonishment about the whole experience. When you go in for an emergency and you can't choose where you go, shouldn't the medical service provided be completely disassociated from any kind of religious bias?

And I very much worry whether another time, when I might have to answer serious questions of life and death, I could somehow avoid being stuck with religious nutters? The problem being that driving a few miles further to a belief-free hospital might result in the few minutes you spent too long in the ambulance... It really is a puzzle.

Was anyone else here ever stuck in a hospital of faith against your will and want? Or do you have ideas how we can move forward to get rid of the religious aspect of hospitals?


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