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Canadian hospital removes Bibles to stop spread of germs despite protests


(RNS) A Canadian hospital has sparked the ire of some citizens and public officials for its decision to take Bibles out of its patients' rooms to help stem the spread of germs.

The Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton, New Brunswick, said the Bibles - along with phone books and hospital directories - were removed to stop the spread of germs, according to an April 25 report from the National Post of Canada.

Canadian hospitals have been increasingly concerned about infectious diseases since the SARS virus - an acute form of pneumonia - claimed dozens of lives in Toronto in 2003.

The River Valley Health Authority, which removed the Bibles from Chalmers Hospital and six others in the area, said Bibles would still be available on request from the hospital chapel, according to the National Post.