The General Medical Council’s Investigation Committee has today (14 June) reprimanded a Christian doctor for sharing his faith with a patient at the end of a private consultation. The GMC has ruled that his actions ‘did not meet the standards required of a doctor’. Dr Richard Scott has now been issued with a Warning which will remain on his record for five years.
The National Secular Society encouraged the proceedings and handed transcripts of evidence to the GMC, detailing Dr Scott’s appearances on radio and television where he had defended himself.
Dr Scott, who has been a doctor for over 28 years, was initially investigated by the GMC after it received a complaint from a patient that Dr Scott had discussed the benefits of Christianity with him.
The GMC proceeded with the case despite the fact that the patient refused to give evidence in person.
Dr Scott, represented by Human Rights Barrister Paul Diamond, and supported by the Christian Legal Centre, argued that the case should be ‘Struck Out’, as a proper and fair hearing could not take place if Mr Diamond was not able to cross-examine the patient in person.
However, the GMC ruled that the patient’s evidence could be given over the telephone and in secret – an extraordinary procedure – meaning that Dr Scott’s defence team were denied an adequate opportunity to assess the patient’s responses.
In his evidence, the patient was unclear about how long his consultation with Dr Scott had lasted, yet he maintained that he was offered no medical options, but was told that belief in Jesus Christ was the only way that his suffering would be relieved.
However, Dr Scott testified that he had provided medical options, but raised his faith because he believed it could help the patient. Dr Scott claims that when he asked whether he could discuss faith, his patient said ‘Go for it’.
The GMC preferred the patient’s evidence over Dr Scott’s.
Dr Scott said:
“I’m deeply upset at this decision by my professional body.
“My professional reputation has been compromised and I have been disciplined, just for sharing my Christian views – yet it is recognised by many peer-reviewed articles that faith can help unwell people.
“My barrister was not given the opportunity to cross-examine the complainant face to face and for the case to be tried in this way is plainly wrong.
“The GMC has taken two years to drag this case out knowing that the complainant would never show up.
“I will be seeking further legal advice as to a Judicial review of the GMC’s handling of its disciplinary procedures, as the amateur and unjust way this trial is being conducted is an insult to me and to every member of the medical profession.”
Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, said:
“I am appalled by this decision. Many doctors will be deeply concerned with the way this case has been handled by the GMC. Why was the evidence heard in secret?”
“Our society seems to becoming more and more repressive, with ordinary, decent people being reported to the authorities and disciplined, not for committing any crime, but just for expressing their Christian beliefs.”
The Perfect Storm and the Fiery Trial
I have been speaking recently about a perfect storm and a fiery trial coming to Britain and the nations of Europe, aimed at the Christian faith. For those who have asked to hear more about this, I have prepared a summary of what I believe we are facing.
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Romans 1:16).
We are engaged in a spiritual battle for the soul of Britain and Europe. More than ever, the urgent need is for a generation of genuine disciples of Christ to proclaim the gospel in power. The spiritual destiny of Britain depends on it.
Opposition to the Christian message is increasing and is set to increase all the more in the days ahead. It would be wrong to call this a conspiracy, but various trends and influences in society are rapidly coming together and will combine to produce a perfect storm against followers of Christ in Britain and wider Europe. I believe it will strike on every front and at every level of the church of Jesus Chris. Militant atheism, liberalism, secularism, political and social antagonism, as well as false religion seem to be joining together, in an unprecedented way, with one ultimate aim – to weaken the influence of Christian churches and push the Christian faith to the margins of our society.
The potential of such a storm is that many believers will make shipwreck of their faith, abandoning it altogether or becoming weak and ineffective as disciples of Christ. But if we respond as God wants us to, we can withstand the storm and present Christ as the only solution to society’s problems.
Beyond the storm, I believe a fiery trial is looming. This is the kind of opposition in which our very lives may well be on the line for the sake of the gospel. I do not wish to be alarmist, but if we are unable to withstand the storm, how will we withstand the fire? I see the storm as inevitable (some might say it is already here), but I believe that we may be able to avert the fiery trial. If we seek God, set our house in order, stand firm as disciples of Christ and actively present Christ both in our personal lives and in the public domain, we may yet see God intervene and save our nation from what is looming ahead.
Read the helpful scriptures below, and see my article “Facing the Storms of Life” .
1 Timothy 1:18-19
Fight the Good Fight
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck…
Exhort One Another
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…
1 Peter 4:12-19
Suffering for God’s Glory
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now
“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.