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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Christian GP fights GMC over formal warning

By Laura Passi

A Christian GP has rejected a formal warning from the GMC after admitting that he discussed religion as a way of helping a patient at the end of a consultation.

Dr Richard Scott, a GP in Margate, Kent, claimed he has asked ‘literally thousands' of patients if they would like to discuss religion as an extra way of aiding them.

However, the GMC issued Dr Scott with a formal warning after the relative of one of his patients complained to the council.

Dr Scott told Pulse: ‘The substance of the warning essentially stated that I had exploited a vulnerable patient with my faith, whereas my intention was to offer a needy patient a way forward in his situation.'

‘It's well known that we're are a Christian practice,' he added. 'It's completely explicit on the NHS Choices website, on our practice leaflets and on a plasma screen we have in the waiting room; that says that doctors are very happy to talk about faith issues but there's absolutely no compulsion.'

He said he had rejected the warning, even though he now risks further investigation, because he believes Christians have a hard time in the workplace and it's time ‘to stand up for our faith'.

He said: ‘It's in the GMC's court now, I'm certainly allowed to reject a warning in which case there is meant to be an investigative committee, a form of public hearing. I'm waiting for that particular bombshell to drop out of the sky.'

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘The GMC does not discuss individual cases but our guidance, which all doctors must follow, is clear; doctors should not normally discuss their personal beliefs with patients unless those beliefs are directly relevant to the patient's care.'

'They also must not impose their beliefs on patients, or cause distress by the inappropriate or insensitive expression of religious, political or other beliefs or views.'

Dr Richard Scott has rejected a formal warning from the GMC Further reading

Copperfield: From the cradle to the grave - but no further

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