Doctor warned over preaching religious beliefs in practice


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The Independent Online

A doctor who preached to a patient that only Jesus could cure him of his problems has received an official warning from the General Medical Council (GMC) that his career could be at risk if he continues to proselytise.

The medical profession’s watchdog ruled today that Dr Richard Scott, a Christian GP who runs a clinic in Margate, breached the rules which forbid doctors from imposing their beliefs on patients in a way that might distress them.

The 51-year-old doctor insists he made only a “gentle offer” to the man, known as Patient A, to talk about faith at the end of a consultation.

However, after a hearing, the medical watchdog ruled that he had used his position as a doctor to preach his religion in a way that caused distress.

The council ruled that some of the allegations they believed had been found true included Dr Scott saying that the Devil “haunts people who do not turn to Jesus” and that Patient A’s own religion, which was not Christianity, “could not offer him any protection”.

The National Secular Society welcomed the ruling in a statement: “We welcome the GMC’s determination making it clear that doctors...must set aside their own personal beliefs and not evangelise when treating patients.”