British Hospital That Won’t Treat Pro-Life Advocate Deluged With Emails

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Hospital That Won’t Treat Pro-Life Advocate Deluged With Emails Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 26, 2006

Norfolk, England ( — A British hospital that refuses to provide medical treatment to a pro-life advocate who got in trouble for repeatedly mailing pictures of abortions to staff there is coming under fire from pro-life people around the world. Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been deluged with mail since news broke that it would not treat 74 year-old Edward Atkinson.

In May, reported that QEH took Atkinson off a waiting list for a hip surgery and banned him from receiving any medical treatment other than care for something life-threatening.

Since then, emails and letters have poured in to the hospital.

A hospital spokesman told Lynn News that staff were apparently being selected at random to receive the pro-life materials and many of the communications include pictures of abortions or fetal development photos.

The unnamed QEH representative indicated a file of the emails and letters has been developed and the hospital plans to turn it over to local police to investigate.

Meanwhile, Atkinson showed up at QEH hospital for an eye exam he previously made and was turned away by staff there. After arguing with staff, they escorted him from the building and gave him another copy of a letter saying he would only be treated for life-threatening injuries.

QEH chief executive Ruth May defended the decision to deny Atkinson treatment in an interview with Lynn News last month.

"Our legal advisers were consulted and their opinion was that this man’s actions contravened the NHS Zero Tolerance policy in cases of abuse or unacceptable behavior towards our staff," she said.

"We take such matters extremely seriously and because he continued to send extremely graphic material to us we exercised our right to decline treatment to him

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, who is pro-life, is intervening in the case and hoping to get Atkinson to apologize for his actions, saying that could appease the hospital and motivate it to reverse its decision. There has been no updated on whether that has been successful.

Pro-life groups have criticized the hospital and James Dowson, national coordinator of the UK Life League, said the hospital’s action was "hypocritical." He is trying to meet with QEH officials to get them to reverse their decision.

Dowson also says Atkinson deserves appropriate medical treatment.

"He is an old man and he walks with a frame. This is appalling," Dowson told Lynn News. "He has been to the court and had his punishment, it is not for the hospital to punish him again. Ted was a taxpayer and was in the Army for this country, it is our NHS."

Atkinson must submit to a probation period of five years, under which he cannot mail the hospital.

Related web sites:
Queen Elizabewth Hospital, Lynn —