Christian doctor slams GMC over disciplinary proceedings
Published 11 June 2012
A Christian GP who talked about Jesus with a patient has accused the General Medical Council of denying him a proper hearing.
Dr Richard Scott was first reported to the GMC in September 2010 for discussing his faith with a patient toward the end of a private consultation at Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, Kent.
If the GMC rules against him, Dr Scott could receive a formal warning over his conduct.
The complainant, an adult identified only as Patient A, has refused to give evidence face to face in open court.
The GMC decided today that the patient would be allowed to give evidence in private and over the telephone.
It has also decided that the proceedings will be held in secret, without any press or public access.
Dr Scott has questioned the fairness of the hearing if the complainant or his representative is not present to be cross-examined in person.
Dr Scott said: “There are thousands of doctors across the land who hold one to one consultations with patients every day. As professionals, it is right that there are proper procedures in place for complaints to be made and heard, but for any professional not to be given the opportunity to cross-examine a complainant face to face and for the case to be tried without such evidence would be plainly wrong.
“Without seeing a person’s body-language or demeanour whilst giving evidence and their being cross-examined, no panel or jury can tell whether they are telling the truth, let alone be assured of the identity of the person claiming to be the complainant.
“I am being denied a proper hearing."
Dr Scott is considering seeking a judicial review if the hearing goes against him.
He is being represented by human rights barrister Paul Diamond, and supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: "The GMC is convening a secret court so that it can pursue disciplinary proceedings against a Christian doctor with an unblemished professional record, despite the complainant refusing to even turn up.
“This is unheard of and many doctors will be deeply concerned with the way this is being handled by the GMC. This is another example of the over-zealous victimisation of Christians by public bodies. Something has to change, and soon.”
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