By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (BosNewsLife)– A British family doctor on Tuesday, May 24, defended suggesting faith in Jesus Christ to a patient last year despite facing disciplinary action and concerns he could lose his job.
“After doing the standard medicine I said to him: ‘Look there is something else that could help you here’,”explained Dr. Richard Scott, 50, in an interview. Dr. Scott said he told the patient, “If you like we can discuss and have faith and that could be an advantage to you in this case, and could help you move forward and give you some hope for the future.”
The Cambridge-educated doctor, who works at Christian-oriented Bethesda Medical Center in Margate, Kent, stressed he only discussed how his faith in Jesus had helped him “at the end of the consultation” — with the 24-year-old patient’s “consent”.
But the General Medical Council (GMC) said it is considering disciplinary action because the patient’s mother had complained about the faith discussion. The GMC made clear Dr. Scott risked bringing his profession into disrepute by discussing Christianity.
The professional regulator’s chief executive, Niall Dickson, said doctors should not normally discuss their personal beliefs with patients “unless those beliefs are directly relevant to the patient’s care”.
Yet, Dr. Scott, who previously worked as a medical missionary and surgeon in Tanzania and India, said he would not accept the formal warning from the GMC and planned to appeal against the censure, although he was warned this could result in being dismissed.
The married father of three children said he saw it as his “obligation” to tell about his faith as his patient “has an awful lot of problems. And, the thing to know is that God loves us and that Jesus loves us.”
Dr, Scott said Christ “can deal with stuff from the past in terms of hurts or guilt or fear of failure, stuff that really you can only find through Christianity.” He said Jesus Christ understood patients as He had lived as a man on earth and suffered for the sins and problems of mankind by dying at a cross for them before His resurrection.
Dr. Scott added that he had seen “hundreds of patients over the years really helped by giving their problems to Him.” Jesus Christ, Dr. Scott said, is often “the Only Way to deal with issues that standard Western medicines can not.”
Advocacy group Christian Legal Center told BosNewsLife it would support Dr. Scott in his legal battle. “It is a shame that Dr. Scott has been reported to the GMC because of his Christian views,” said its Chief Executive Officer Andrea Minichiello Williams. “The complaint, on religious grounds, appears to be a smokescreen to express frustration and to disagree publicly with the professional treatment offered.”
Williams said “Many patients are helped when a doctor, in the natural course of a discussion, talks about their spiritual needs. This is all Dr. Scott was doing and he should not be punished for this or prevented from doing so in the future.”
It comes amid several alleged cases of discrimination of Christians within Britain’s medical institutions. In one of the other published incidents last year, Christian nurse Shirley Chaplin, 54, was reportedly moved to a desk job after refusing to remove her crucifix.