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Sandys and Gale:  “GMC must drop any sanction on Christian Doctor”   

May 22nd 2011

South Thanet`s MP, Laura Sandys, and North Thanet`s Roger Gale have condemned the GMC for seeking to censure a Christian doctor working as a partner within the Bethesda (Cliftonville) practice for discussing religious beliefs with patients.
“It is quite wrong that the Doctor, Richard Scott , should be reprimanded by the General Medical Council for “risking bringing the profession into disrepute” by mentioning Christianity after having given medical advice to his patient.” say the MPs.   “The Bethesda Medical Centre not only delivers excellent care to our constituents but is known to be a Christian practise.
Laura Sandys says: 
“We totally appreciate that medical standards need regulating, but monitoring and then sanctioning doctors on conversations with patients, that do not relate to their medical condition, must be a matter between the individuals and dealt with locally..  The GMC has over-reacted and needs to put an end to mis-placed  activism that is putting a respected doctor’s profession on the line.”
Patients have the right to transfer to alternative surgeries if they so wish but with some of the best standards in East Kent there are many patients who would very much like to be able to register at Bethesda.”. 
The Authorities  need to get away from managing every aspect of professionals’ lives – this doctor’s natural instinct to make reference to Christianity is not a matter for the GMC, it is matter for his conscience and beliefs.”
And Roger Gale adds:
“I had the privilege of representing the Bethesda Practice, in its former premises and in the new Bethesda Centre, for twenty-seven years.  The doctors are known to be Christian. They do not seek to impose their beliefs upon their patients and more than I, as a Christian Member of Parliament, seek to force my beliefs on my constituents, but I believe that they have a faith that they choose to share with some of their patients is of great benefit and, sometimes, of comfort.
Nobody is saying that a Doctor ought to be a Christian, or of any other faith, but to treat faith as an active disqualification, as the GMC apparently seeks to do, is unacceptable.  It is not up to the GMC to play God!”

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