SIR,-As a part-time Catholic nurse, in a non-Catholic hospital, perhaps I can help a little over the question of Catholics in hospital (Pat Jones column, March 10). Please may I assure you that we take very much to heart the spiritual welfare of our patients.
In all hospitals every patient on admission is asked his or her religion and in the case of children if they have been baptised. This information is then passed on to the hospital Chaplain.
Sadly at least 90 per cent of the Catholics we admit to hospital are lapsed, some even agnostic. These are the people who really need help, and who are sometimes even in grave danger of dying in a stale of mortal sin, and many are conpletely ignorant of their faith.
Please be assured that while there is a Catholic member of the staff at the hospital to which you are admitted your spiritual welfare is quite safe, for even the nonCatholic nurses in these hospitals know it is their duty to call a priest to a very sick Catholic, If all Catholics were to carry an identity card or some religious article with them at all times. it would be a great help, particularly in the case of road accidents etc., when it may he impossible to find out their religion in any other way. Finally, if all Catholics who have to enter hospital as waiting list patients were to inform their parish priest before admission, and receive the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion this, from a nyrse's point of view, would be really wonderful A Catholic nurse