Government threatens Christian doctor’s job for discussing faith with patients
MARGATE, Kent, England, July 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A Christian doctor is under investigation and may lose his job because he incorporates prayer into his practise and discusses religious beliefs with some of his patients.
Dr. Richard Scott, 58, is a general practitioner at the Bethsaida Medical Centre in Margate, Kent. According to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, he is being investigated by England’s National Health Service (NHS) because of allegations that he made a patient uncomfortable by praying. Meanwhile, the General Medical Council (GMC) is also involved in an investigation into the Christian doctor, which means he is in danger of losing his license.
A complaint was lodged with the GMC in May by the National Secular Society (NSS) on the “highly vulnerable” patient’s behalf. According to the secularist organization, they were informed of the alleged incident by someone who claimed to be an “acquaintance” of the patient. Steven Evans, the chief executive of the NSS, told the Sunday Times he did not know the patient’s identity.
Scott told the Sunday Times he was shocked that instead of having “a chat or gentle discussion” with him first, the GMC had started a “fitness to practise inquiry.” The G.P. also said he always asks patients’ permission to talk about faith and only after the standard medical discussion.
The doctor has incorporated spirituality in his medical practice for over 20 years, but the controversy around his open Christanity dates back to 2012. Then it was alleged, by a “psychologically troubled” 24-year-old man, that in 2010, Scott had told him that he could be cured only if he turned “to Jesus.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, a lawyer for the GMC, Andrew Hurst, said Scott told the man that “he did have a cure, which would cure him for good. His one and only hope of recovery was through Jesus.”
“If he did not turn to Jesus and hand him his suffering he would suffer for the rest of his life,” Hurst continued.
The patient also alleged that the doctor mentioned the devil, “belittled” his non-Christian religion, and said he would be damned to hell — i.e., “unless he turned to Jesus he would eternally suffer.”
Scott denied the allegations, which the patient refused to make in person. The doctor said he had merely given the patient the opportunity to chat about the role religious faith could play in helping with his problems.
The Christian doctor has always been vocal about the role faith can play in medical care and has presented his ideas on the subject in print and on BBC Radio. In the 2012 hearing, transcripts of the radio shows were prepared and provided by the National Secular Society, adding weight to Scott’s suggestion that the CMA has an anti-Christian bias.
This year, Scott told the Sunday Times he believes that the NSS is out to get him.
“The NSS is obviously gunning for me — and would like me to lose my job because they don’t like me,” he said.
“Well, to be honest I don't like them but I am not gunning for them to lose their jobs. They think I am irresponsible and dangerous and I would say the same about them."
The Telegraph mentioned that Scott cited the World Health Organization, which cites spiritual well-being as part of health, and “scientific evidence that faith benefits health.”
In 2013, Scott wrote an article for The Pulse, an online news magazine for doctors, in which he described his working day. It began with a chat and prayers with a prayer buddy and included encouraging a recovering drug addict “to live the life he signed up for when he was baptised in our church.” He gave £10 to a mentally ill man whose electricity has been cut off and obtains permission from a heartbroken patient to pray for her.
However, Scott also wrote ambiguously of agreeing with his wife, who is also his medical partner, to help a drug addict who is 19 weeks pregnant and doesn’t have enough money for an abortion. It is unclear what form this help would take.
LifeSiteNews attempted to contact Dr. Scott by phone but was informed by his medical center that he is on leave until July 15.