A Christian GP who asked a troubled patient if he had considered faith in Jesus said today he was ‘disgusted’ with the GMC, after the hearing into his conduct was adjourned.
Dr Richard Scott said the GMC, which brought the case against him, had an ‘anti-Christian bias’ as the body adjourned the hearing because the patient witness refused to attend the hearings.
Dr Scott, 51, a committed Christian who has worked as a medical missionary in Kenya and Africa, spoke about the matter of religion to the 24-year-old, who has been described as ‘suicidal’ and ‘vulnerable’, at the end of a consultation at his surgery in Margate, Kent, in August 2010.
After allegedly being told ‘Go for it’ by the patient, the Cambridge-educated GP is said to have told him faith in Christianity may help him overcome personal problems.
But during a two-day hearing GMC lawyers claimed the GP ‘crossed the line’ in discussing his own personal religious beliefs with a vulnerable patient and even went on to suggest he might benefit from a Christian faith – above his own religion.
The patient, who was seen by the GP at the Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, was left ‘very upset’ and felt Dr Scott had ‘belittled’ his own faith, the GMC heard, and made a complaint.
Patient A, whose identity has not been made public, decided not to attend the hearing. His own religious affiliation has not been made public.
He told GMC lawyers he would not attend ‘for a million pounds’ and it would be a ‘big inconvenience’.
Dr Scott’s lawyer, Paul Diamond, asked for the hearing to be stayed as an abuse of process.
Mr Diamond said the doctor could not get a ‘fair trial’ with the only witness able to make a complaint but not willing to give evidence.
But the GMC decided to adjourn the hearing to make another attempt to get the patient to a resumed hearing in Manchester.
After the decision, a clearly upset Dr Scott said: ‘I’m actually not only disappointed, I’m disgusted with my professional body.’
‘When I started in medicine, you are led to believe the GMC are there to serve both patients and doctors,’ Dr Scott added.
‘That is not the case. I think there is an anti-Christian bias with the GMC.’
‘There is part of the GMC that reflect our culture, secularisation has a very strong voice.’
‘The reason we are defending this case is not just my own position but other Christians have increasingly recently been under attack for their faith at
‘The GMC certainly over-reacted because of an anti-Christian bias.’
Dr Scott said he had received between 300 and 400 letters of support from patients since the case against him began.
He was accompanied to the hearing by two patients, both reformed drug addicts, whom he helped to overcome their problems with medicine and faith, he said.