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Beliefs always affect our practice

Well done for printing the opinion piece by Dr Richard Scott arguing in favour of the use of religion in general practice.

In the spirit of ‘I am Spartacus', I feel the GMC needs to investigate not just Dr Scott, but myself and hundreds of colleagues. We all have beliefs – humanist, atheist, Christian, Muslim or otherwise – and these inevitably have an impact on our daily practice.

The only question is whether we are aware of these beliefs and handle them openly and professionally, as Dr Scott seems to have done, or delude ourselves that we have no beliefs.

The humanist Taliban appear most prone to this particular self-delusion.

Patients come to see doctors who are humans, not robots. That humanity includes their religion.

The GMC has very strict guidelines about how a doctor's belief should be handled (see the GMC's Personal beliefs and medical practice).

There doesn't appear to be any evidence that he has broken these. Simply that he was open about his beliefs and tried to help the patient.

The GMC requires us to report colleagues who are unfit to practise to the GMC for investigation.

Should I be sending in my name and all those I know?

From Dr Matthew Shaw,

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