Doctor faces losing his job after talking to a patient about God

The Telegraph has reported today that a Doctor is currently being ‘rapped’ for talking about God with a patient.

Dr. Richard Scott faces losing his job after being reprimanded by the General Medical Council for discussing religious beliefs with a patient.

Dr Scott, a doctor for 28 years, works at the Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, Kent. Its six partners are all Christians and state on the official NHS Choices website that they are likely to discuss spiritual matters with patients during consultations.

Unfortunately, the article in the Telegraph states that,

The committed Christian, was accused of “harassment” and told by the medical regulator that he risked bringing the profession into disrepute by discussing his religious beliefs.

This is just one case in a series of incidents where Christians are continually being persecuted for actively expressing their faith in the company of those without faith, or of those who hold to different religions. The last time I checked, this country protected the right of free speech.

Apparently, the patient had discussed medial issues with the Doctor, and then they moved on  to spiritual and religious matters. The conversation ended when the patient called it. However the mother of the patient has kicked up a stinking fuss by saying that the Doctor had ‘pushed his religion’ at her son.

I’m sorry, but I think the patient, at least in this case, can speak for himself.

It’s absolutely outrageous that cases like this can be made against a person in the medical profession.  Dr Scott has said,

What’s happened to me is an injustice and I want to stand up for Christians who have been getting hammered in the workplace

And I completely agree. It’s a complete disgrace that this is happening; it’s time for  people to stand up for free speech.

This is a case which is no more than Political Correctness going mad.

The committed Christian, was accused of “harassment” and told by the medical regulator that he risked bringing the profession into disrepute by discussing his religious beliefs.

Bringing the profession into disrepute?! Are the general public of the UK really that petty? Would the reputation of the NHS really be damaged just because someone has exercised free speech? I don’t think so. Or, I shouldn’t hope so.

The whole situation is unbelievable. What are your views?

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Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about

  • Just to say, the Telegraph also have their comment forum for this article which is an interesting read:

    http://disqus.com/forums/telegraphuk/doctors_can_be_christians_too_92/trackback/

  • Rosanna

    Doubt this would happen if an atheist was talking about his beliefs to a patient – he would be called realistic and rational. Its such a shame that patients cannot receive pastoral care or share spiritual beliefs with those helping them. This is what needs to be put into the Medical proffession, rapport and support, or all kinds. The mother obviously fears something…

    • Completely agree with your observations Rosanna. It’s something we really need to be mindful of.

  • Eva

    I don’t think that this is so much an issue of Christians being persecuted, though of course this Christian WAS persecuted and it happens in many other cases as well, but more how the entire medical paradigm deals with religious/spiritual issues; that is, to not touch on them at all. So in a way, almost any perspective would be persecuted, except, like Rosanna said, and atheistic one.

    I’m in a death and afterlife course right now and it’s really shocking to learn just how much the entire establishment almost IGNORES death, whereas religions tend to deal with it directly. So a religious perspective, especially an affirmation of and talking about religious beliefs, for people who are sick/dying can be an extremely positive thing.

    Horrible what is happening to the doctor and good of him to stand up for himself.

    • Eva, I think you have a point there. I do believe, as you do, at secular society tends to avoid the subject of death. Faith provides dialogue with people about the subject. And for Christians at least, there is an assured hope of heaven after.

  • I have written about Dr Scott on my blog too. I’m an agnostic, but I’d really like to know what you think.

    http://www.thanetwaves.co.uk/2011/05/local-gp-in-trouble-for-god-chat.html

    • Hey Luke,

      Thanks for the heads up on this article. Will definitely give it a read just now and let you know my thoughts. Please remember this blog; would love to see you interacting on the site! 🙂

  • Amy

    This is a tricky one, only way to solve this is, if you share the same religion as a patient, and they are willing too, discuss it. If not, don’t.
    I mean it really depends on what he said about religion, if it was on the lines of “Well you’ve got a week to live, hope you’ve asked God for forgivness or your going to hell” Then I’d understand the uproar, however that is unlikely. I think in todays society, people have made their choices on whether they believe or not, either way it’s okay, but they should not force their beliefs on others. Discussion, yes, that’s fine, maybe not in a hospital but as long as both participants are open to it. However there is nothing worse than someone who does believe something you don’t telling you that they KNOW it is true, or that you should believe it too, because whether you believe or not, there is no way of knowing if it’s true, and everyone should consider that when preaching about anything.

  • 03524408d854b847e1ad238f273f8cb6

    In my view, simply writing a script and sending a patient on their way is not always enough. A human being is far more than a bag of water and chemicals, and not everything can be reduced to that level.

    As members of AA will tell you, there is no chemical solution to a spiritual problem.

    And as human beings, we can and do have such problems. Should we go to a GP with such matters? Well, people do, all the time. And why wouldn’t they? After all, personal issues which are troubling us can manifest in a number of obvious physical ways: upset stomachs, headaches, fatigue, and so on. Such problems can make someone very ill indeed; stress can be a killer, that fact is absolutely beyond dispute. So of course you’re going to visit your doctor, if you’re in that situation.

    If a GP can see beyond the ‘here’s a script now off you go’ mentality and suggest something which might interest and potentially help a patient, in this case visiting a local church, then I don’t see that there’s too much wrong with that.

    It appears that it was not the patient who complained, it was his mother, who apparently was ‘offended’ that anyone might even suggest that Christianity could offer a spiritual solution to whatever problem her son went to the health centre about in the first place.

    Maybe she would have been happier if he’d just been given a script and sent on his way …

    • Thank you for your comments! You do make some valuable points here which DO need to be considered 🙂

  • KD

    Well now that I’ve gotten logged in properly … can I say in addition to my earlier post that I was seeing a GP for a while last year & was given some SSRI meds, which certainly helped me out. However as the saying goes, that only treated the symptoms, not the underlying problem.

    I was having a bit of a tough time, no question about it. What helped me as much as anything, if I’m being honest about it, was watching some sermons by two American preachers called Jon Courson and Greg Laurie online. I’d never heard of either of them before then, and I certainly wasn’t in the habit of watching sermons online – or offline for that matter! Both Courson and Laurie appeared to me to be honest, genuine men who had both suffered some personal tragedies in their lives, and had depth to their teachings. Listening to them helped me out a lot.

    Funnily enough I bumped into my old GP not too long ago, not in a patient-GP context mind you, and I told them that I’d been listening to an American preacher called Jon Courson online, and had gotten a lot of benefit from that. They were pleased to see me doing better.

    They weren’t offended to hear that an American preacher had done me more good than the SSRI meds he’d prescribed – if I can put it like that. And why should they be? I was doing better, and that was the main thing. Would I have been offended though, if I’d gone to see a GP, either that particular person or someone else, and we’d tried the SSRI meds out, and then, if I kept having problems, they suggested something else? Like watching a Jon Courson sermon online? Or going on an Alpha course? I don’t think so.

    I say that now of course, having watched some Jon Courson sermons online, and found them beneficial. Would I have been offended at the time though? No, I think that if any doctor I’d gone to see had exhausted the chemical possibilities, then tried to get me out of a tough spot – and if I’m in their office in the first place then there’s something up – by suggesting something else that they thought might help me, I’d take that as a sign that they cared about me. That’s all. And I certainly wouldn’t be offended by that.

    If anyone reading this is interested in hearing the Jon Courson sermon which helped me out at that particular, rather troublesome, time in my life, it can be found at harvest dot org. In the ‘Media’ section, do a search for Jon Courson, and you’ll see ‘From Bitter to Better’ – Exodus 15. That’s the one.

    I found another of Courson’s sermons on preaching today helpful too – it’s called ‘Renouncing Bitterness’ and is an interesting teaching based on the story of Ahithophel. (I’ve listened to that one a few times now on the way to work.)

    best wishes,

    KD.

    • Thank you very much for commenting, KD. Really inspirational to hear someone who wouldn’t be offended at a doctor’s spiritual recommendation.

      It’s a breath of fresh air as opposed to the horrific extremes of new atheism that people are now buying into.

      Your comments are always valued! Was a pleasure to read. Please continue to interact!

  • KD

    This case was recently mentioned in a debate at Westminster Hall on the treatment of Christians around the world. (See link.)

    • Thanks for the link KD. Checking it out !

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