A Christian doctor was purportedly fired after emailing a prayer to his colleagues at Walsall Manor Hospital in western England, according to the Derby Telegraph.
David Drew, a pediatrician from Derbyshire, claims unfair dismissal from his hospital after having issues – one of which included his prayer email – with his managers.
The prayer by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, was sent to his colleagues in order to try and motivate his department.
"Little did I know that this email would cause me so much difficulty and ultimately result in my dismissal," Drew said.
Appealing to the employment tribunal in Birmingham on Monday, the doctor revealed that he felt he was being unfairly targeted after raising concerns about the conduct of his colleagues in the hospital's pediatric ward.
He previously went to the employment tribunal on two different occasions first reporting that children had been sexually assaulted in the ward and also that a child had died after a consultant had let him go home.
When Drew complained about the consultant, his role as clinical director was taken away from him, he claimed, and an investigation into his own professional conduct by the hospital trust began instead.
Further complaints about a "very rude nurse" during a later time also led the trust to continue compiling a case against him.
They further asserted that Drew had sent an "unwelcome" text message to a colleague on Christmas day, according to The Daily Mail. His text read, "Have a peaceful Christmas."
"While [Drew] may regard such messages as benign RH perceived them as aggressive and unwelcome intrusions into his private time," the report said.
His dismissal was ultimately sealed after he emailed the prayer to his colleagues, failing to accept one of the recommendations of the staff to "refrain from using religious references in his professional communications verbal or written."
Though he alleged that he had asked for more clarification in regards to the religious references, the hospital's chief executive told him to just accept the recommendations without questioning or resign.
"If the trust wanted me to behave in a different way they should give me some explanation," Drew told the tribunal.
"The allegation that I have forced my religion onto other people, that I am some kind of religious maniac was made worse by the fact that they told me there was no need to understand what this is all about."
Ian McKivett, Drew's BMA representative, said he repeatedly asked the trust of instances when his client made inappropriate religious references other than the email. They could provide none outside of the prayer.
"There was a suggestion that he was being almost picky and pedantic by questioning the trust," McKivett noted.
The 10-day hearing continues as to whether or not Drew was unfairly dismissed by the hospital. He had lost a previous appeal in April of last year.