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Doctor attacked

July 2011

Doctor attacked

A Christian doctor with 28 years of unblemished practice has been threatened with an official warning by the General Medical Council (GMC) for sharing his faith with a patient.
    According to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), Dr Richard Scott, who works at Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, Kent, is under investigation after a patient’s mother complained about a conversation he had with her son.
    In 2010, Dr Scott saw a man on the practice list at the request of the patient’s mother. At the end of the consultation, the patient and doctor discussed religion, each being of different faiths.
    Although the patient has continued to seek treatment from the practice, his mother filed an official complaint, claiming that the GP had not offered medical advice during a consultation, but instead, talked about Jesus.
    The GMC wrote to Dr Scott offering a ‘compromise’ decision to the disciplinary complaint of placing an official warning on his file. However, the GP is calling on his professional body to remove the complaint, on the basis that the complaint was from a mother who was not medically qualified to comment on what treatment, if any, a medical practitioner should prescribe.
    Furthermore, the GMC’s own guidelines state that it is acceptable to present faith to a patient as long as it is done gently and sensitively.
    A statement from the CLC, which has instructed human rights barrister Paul Diamond to support Dr Scott, said, ‘It is a shame that Dr Scott has been reported to the GMC because of his Christian views. Dr Scott is an experienced GP who has helped thousands of patients over the years.
    ‘The complaint appears to be a smokescreen to express frustration and to disagree publicly with the professional treatment offered. However, the GMC must not bow to political or emotional pressure in this case and should back the GP 100 per cent, as he acted within their own guidelines, and his unblemished record should not be tarnished — even by a letter on his file’.

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