By a Staff Reporter Concern for the welfare of patients caused by nurses withdrawing their labour has led the Catholic Nurses Guild to ask their members to risk
being blacklegs. f he guild has 1,000 members A quorum of 12 members of the executive committee at an extraordinary meeting this week expressed "its deep concern at the increased industrial action being taken by nurses.
"While fully accepting the Christian principle that everyone is entitled to a fair and just wage, it advises in the strongest possible terms that no patient should be allowed to suffer as a result of the withdrawal of labour."
Miss Nora Griffiths, president of the Guild in England and Wales, agreed the statement meant asking Catholic nurses to strike-break in certain circumstances, Asked if the suffering included that caused by the postponement of non-urgent operations of those who had been waiting to get into hospital, she said: "We were considering the patients in hospital themselves.
"We are very concerned that standards of nursing should be maintained," she said. The meeting had been called after a number of nurses had expressed anxiety about the effects of current strike action. In one hospital she had been told about, the ratio or nurses to patients had dropped from one to four to one to 11.
but there are many more Catholic nurses and the appeal is also addressed to them. She did not think many Catholic nurses were working in mental hospitals, where nursing has been badly affected by the actions of the Confederation of Health Service Employees.
Miss Griffiths has just returned from the 10th World Congress or Catholic Nurses in Rome, attended by 4,000 nurses from 59 countries, at which she was elected European nurses' pdnproposal bythe English and }repto.
Welsh delegation of 136 nurses pledging total protection, preservation and service to life and condemning abortion was passed by the congress.
Miss Griffiths said Catholic nurses in this country had formed a special committee to discuss abortion and related problems and one of the matters they would discuss was the danger by advances in pre-natal medicine.
The time is fast appr aching when doctors will be able to predict whether the child in the womb is in any way subnormal or malformed, with all the consequences this might have for the pro-abortion lobby.
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