May 23, 2011

GP could lose job for discussing Jesus with patient

by Jan Harris

A Margate-based GP is facing disciplinary action from the General Medical Council after he discussed his Christian beliefs with a 24-year-old patient.

Following the consultation the patient’s mother asked how it had gone and the patient is believed to have replied: ‘He just said I need Jesus’.

The mother subsequently complained that the GP had ‘pushed religion’ on her son.

The GMC issued a formal warning to Dr Scott, claiming that he had caused the patient distress and risked bringing the profession into disrepute.

Dr Scott refuses to accept the warning and has appointed a human rights lawyer to represent him.

He argues that the discussion took place at the end of the consultation, with the patient’s consent and that it did not breach the GMC’s rules which only permit doctors to discuss personal beliefs with patients if they are directly relevant to the patient’s care.

Dr Scott says he is appealing against the decision because he wants to “give confidence and inspiration to other Christians who work in the medical profession.’

Dr Scott, who used to be a medical missionary and surgeon in Tanzania and India, works at the Bethesda Medical Centre, a Christian-orientated practice in Margate, Kent.

In related news, an electrician who faced dismissal by his employer, Wakefield and District Housing, for displaying a palm cross in his van, has now been told that he can continue to work and can attach the cross vertically to the glove compartment of his van.

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