A Christian doctor in England has been threatened with an official warning from his professional body for discussing Jesus with a patient, The (London) Sunday Times reported.
Richard Scott, a doctor for 28 years, is under investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC) and faces disciplinary action after he suggested to a 24-year-old man that he might find solace in Christianity.
Scott, who practices at a medical center in Margate, east of London, well known for having Christian doctors, insists he only raised his spiritual beliefs after carrying out a thorough and lengthy consultation, during which medical checks and referrals for further care were arranged.
When the man’s mother inquired of the consultation, however, her son apparently replied, “He just said I need Jesus.” This prompted his mother to refer Scott to the GMC, claiming that he had not offered medical advice during the consultation but instead talked about Jesus.
The young man, who has been described as “in a rut and in need of help” grew up in a different religion but his faith had lapsed. He has continued to seek treatment from the practice despite the complaint filed by his mother.
The GMC has written to Scott suggesting he accept an official warning but the GP (family doctor), who has an unblemished record as a medic, has decided to fight the allegations and stand up to what he believes is a politically correct trend in Britain to persecute Christians for expressing their faith in the workplace.
Scott fears that if he accepts the warning, and discusses his Christian beliefs with other patients, he could be struck off.
He maintains he acted professionally and says the complaint was made against him in the knowledge that professional bodies are nervous about claims of a religious nature.
Scott said, “I only discussed my 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.
“I only discussed mutual faith after obtaining the patient’s permission. In our conversation, I said that, personally, I had found having faith in Jesus helped me and could help the patient. At no time did the patient indicate that they were offended, or that they wanted to stop the discussion. If that had been the case, I would have immediately ended the conversation.
“This complaint was brought to the GMC not by the patient, who has continued to be a patient in this practice, but by the patient’s mother.”
Scott is a partner at the Bethesda medical center in Margate, Kent. The six partners at the practice are all Christians and it has taken a biblical name. Practice leaflets and message boards publicize the doctors’ religion and invite patients to raise Christian beliefs with them.
Scott is being advised by the Christian Legal Center. Paul Diamond, the leading human rights barrister, has been instructed in the case.