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GP ‘crossed the line’ by mentioning Jesus

GP before GMC for allegedly promoting religion

Jo Carlowe

Friday, 23 September 2011

The General Medical Council is today considering whether a GP ‘crossed the line’ when he spoke about Christianity to a ‘suicidal’ patient.

Dr Richard Scott, 51, who practices at the Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, Kent, saw the 24 year-old patient at the surgery in August 2010.

Paul Ozin, for the GMC, said Dr Scott had told the ‘vulnerable’ patient that he might benefit from Christianity above his own religion. The patient’s own religion was not made public.

It is alleged that Dr Scott discussed his own personal religious beliefs and the patient left ‘very upset’ and made a complaint that the doctor had ‘belittled’ his own religion.

The Committee, which sat yesterday and is now in day two of the hearing, must consider whether to issue Dr Scott with a warning for his alleged inappropriate expression of religious beliefs during a consultation which caused distress to the patient.

It is further alleged that Dr Scott subsequently confirmed, via national media, that he had sought to suggest his own faith had more to offer than that of the patient.

Paul Diamond, counsel for Dr Scott, said his client did not accept the version of events portrayed.

"The portrayal of events by my learned friend of insensitive and belittling and persistent discussion of religion are not accepted," he told the Committee.

The hearing continues.

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