Civil liberties eroded in the name of better health care -

Recently I had to get some blood work done at the Roseway Hospital in Shelburne, NS. Like every other reasonable person, when I arrived I went directly to the Admin desk to check in. As this was not my first visit to this hospital the task at hand should have been simple and straight forward, or so I thought. While going through the questions the lady behind the glass was typing like crazy filling in all the data fields on the computer screen. She then asked me a question I hadn’t heard before;

What is your religion? She asked (point blank without expression).

I was lost for words. Pardon me? (Taking the moment to think why this information would help me)

What is your religion? She asked again. Then she added you don’t have to answer the question if you don’t want to.

I quickly said, “Well then I don’t want to”.

Her reply was swift and pointed as if she typed the answer hundreds of times before. “None”!

“That is not true” I said quickly. After all if this was for my health care it better be right, I thought.

There is another selection on the list she retorted, “Unknown”.

How do I get out of this spot without arguing? She didn’t know my “religion”, so that answer could be accurate in one sense, and so I said “that will do”.

I am sure that the majority of people would think this question has no place in a publicly funded hospital. A hospital that is located in a community where many veterans went to fight and die for our freedom of religion. This issue goes far further than some programmer trying to fill a database with as much information as can possibly be gleaned from a patient. A patient that is likely more than a little sick to care what questions are being asked of themselves.

Sure the computer screen’s selection box may be staring the secretary in the face with a wanting to be filled in. Sure the database may not be complete without that non-vital tidbit if non-relative information. But this very loaded question has no place in a building that serves all people regardless of race, creed or religion!

Eckhart Tolle said, that when you try force people to fit a set of beliefs you are performing an act of violence on them. Please stand for your human-rights and demand the hospital remove this non-relevant question for its admittance forms. If you can’t stand then I stand for you here and now.
- Cameron A. Keith

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