Doctor’s contract cancelled for praying with inmates

May 17, 2010 10:03 AM

CHIPLEY — A doctor working under contract at the Northwest Florida Reception Center in Greenhead had that contract cancelled recently after he was told not to pray with inmates.

Dr. Douglas Collins was under contract to Maxim Medical Services working at Greenhead when he was told that a complaint had been made about his praying with inmates. Collins, a lifelong Christian, said he was surprised at the complaint.

“I’ve always prayed with my patients,” he said. “I always ask permission of them first.”

Collins said he was informed by Warden John Whitfield that while there was no set policy against such activity, “that as warden he set the policy” and said that it was the responsibility of the chaplain to tend to spiritual matters and for medical personnel to tend to medical matters.

Greta Plessinger of the Florida Department of Corrections said the doctor was working at Santa Rosa Corrections Institution and at Greenhead and had been warned at both locations about praying with inmates.

“This was mostly for security reasons,’ Plessinger said. “He was alone holding hands with the inmates while they were praying.

“Plus, not all the inmates are Christians, and we don’t want an inmate not wanting to go to a doctor for religious reasons.

“Dr. Collins was hired to do medicine. He could always have volunteered in his off hours to help with the chaplain’s service.”


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3 Responses to Doctor’s contract cancelled for praying with inmates

  1. Del Curtis says:

    Interesting to note that it was a John Whitefield (pronounced: Whitfield), an Anglican priest that is named along with Samuel Adams as the “Father of the American Revolution.” An Englishman who made 7 trips to America to preach 40+ hours a week, 4 or 5 sermons daily, out in the village greens, fields, or whereever, as he was not permitted in the pulpits of the Anglican church. He is also named as a generator of the First Great Awakening” here in America. What a great difference an “e” makes!

    • Lynn says:

      Just starting learning about Bro Whitefield. Was actually George.
      Founded Bethesda Orphanage! At the Isle of Hope

      Non sibi sed allis
      Not for ourselves but for others

      “I called it Bethesda because I hoped it would be a house of mercy to many souls.”
      George Whitefield 1738

      • Del Curtis says:

        Lynn, You are absolutely correct. My old eyes and mind probably crossed with John Wesley or John Witherspoon, also of that era in America’s founding. Thank you for correcting my error.

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