Australian Doctor, by Carmel Sparke: GP Dr. Richard Scott is under investigation in the UK for praying during a consultation.
Australian doctors seeking divine intervention on medical matters may take interest in a complaint to the UK’s medical regulator about a GP’s “use of prayer” during a consultation.
Dr. Richard Scott, who runs the Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, Kent, is the subject of a complaint to the General Medical Council (GMC) over an incident in which a patient apparently “felt uncomfortable” over the GP’s use of prayer.
The GP, who is a Christian, has reportedly said he has “involved a spiritual angle” for patients with depression, anxiety or addiction during the past 20 years.
The complaint has been made by a UK organisation called the National Secular Society, a group dedicated to promoting secularism.
The society says on its website that an acquaintance of the patient says the person was made to feel uncomfortable by Dr. Scott’s use of prayer.
“The acquaintance told [us] that the patient felt unable to express discomfort and was not able to raise the matter formally or change GP practice,” it says.
According to a story in the Sunday Times, Dr. Scott says he is shocked that the GMC has launched a ‘fitness to practice’ inquiry.
“They are kowtowing to aggressive secularism. Public safety is what they are there for [but] they are suddenly turning it into a big case,” he told the newspaper.
Dr. Scott said he asked patients for permission to introduce matters of faith and only did so at the end of a consultation “after the standard Western medicine.”
He said he made the offer to one in every 40 patients on average, adding that most accepted.
“The National Secular Society is obviously gunning for me — and would like me to lose my job because they don’t like me. Well, to be honest I don’t like them, but I am not gunning for them to lose their jobs,” he told the paper.
According to the BBC, this was not the first time Dr. Scott had been in hot water over incorporating his Christian beliefs to his practice.
In 2012, he received a formal warning from the GMC “for expressing his religious beliefs in a way that distressed a ‘psychologically troubled’ patient.”
The patient complainant said that he had stated that if the patient did not “turn towards Jesus then he would suffer for the rest of his life.”
“Satan is still working through every means which he can control to destroy religious liberty. The antichristian power which the protesters of Spires rejected is now with renewed vigor seeking to re-establish its lost supremacy. The same unswerving adherence to the word of God manifested at that crisis of the Reformation is the only hope of reform today.” Great Controversy, page 204.