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Christian Doctor under investigation for sharing faith

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Issued by the Christian Legal Centre
Press Release
For Immediate Release
22nd May 2011

Christian Doctor under investigation for sharing faith

A Christian doctor has been reported to the General Medical Council (GMC), and may be disciplined, for sharing his faith with a patient. Dr Richard Scott, who works at Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, Kent, has been threatened with a warning by the GMC and is currently under investigation.

Dr Scott has been accused by a patient of not offering medical advice during a consultation but instead talking about Jesus.
However, Dr Scott says that he only discussed his faith at the end of a lengthy medical consultation after exploring the various interventions that the patient had previously tried, and after promising to follow up the patient’s request for an appointment with other medical professionals.

The doctor only discussed his faith after obtaining the patient’s permission. He said that having faith in Jesus could help the patient. Dr Scott believed that further counselling about the patient’s issues was unlikely to help and that there was a spiritual aspect to the patient’s problems.

The patient never indicated that they were offended or that they wanted to stop the discussion. Dr Scott maintains that if this had been the case, he would have immediately ended the conversation.

Dr Scott has talked about his faith with many patients over the years, and many of them have been encouraged. The GMC’s guidelines state
that it is acceptable to present faith to a patient as long as it is done gently and sensitively.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

“It is a shame that Dr Scott has been reported to the GMC because of his Christian views. What kind of society do we want to live in? A tolerant society where people are free to share their views? Or a society ruled by fear, where sharing your beliefs in a conversation could get you reported to the authorities? Dr Scott is allowed to share his faith under the GMC’s guidelines, and it is his faith which actually inspires him to do his job.

“We have to challenge this culture of intolerance and political correctness and defend the right to freedom of speech, and the right to be open about one’s faith, not just behind the closed doors of a home, as some would like, but in the public sphere.”

ENDS.
For further information / interview:
Andrea Minichiello Williams (CEO Christian Concern): 07712 591164

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