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Dr Richard Scott in tribunal discussing his Christian faith

Dr Richard Scott
Dr Richard Scott

A Kent GP has been given an official warning after discussing his Christian faith with a patient.

A General Medical Council committee said the warning would last on Dr Richard Scott's records for five years.

It comes after the committee found his advice to a suicidal patient was a "significant departure from the principles in good medical practice."

 A complaint was made against the family doctor, who practises at Bethesda Medical Centre, in Margate, last year. His comments were said to have "distressed" his patient.

As part of the investigation it was found that Dr Scott told the patient if he didn't "turn towards Jesus and hand Jesus his suffering, then (he) would suffer for the rest of his life."

The medic was also found to have said the patient's own religion could not offer him any protection and that "no other religion in the world could offer (him) what Jesus could offer him."

Dr Scott said earlier he offered a patient "an opportunity to discuss whether faith in God through Jesus might be an advantage to him".

Bethesda Medical Centre, in Margate
Bethesda Medical Centre, in Margate

Dr Richard Scott discussed his faith with a patient at Bethesda Medical Centre

But, while the committee accepted the testimonials given in support of Dr Scott, some of which said he didn't push his faith on patients, it said: "This case, however, is different, because on this occasion you caused the patient distress, which you should have foreseen."

It continued: "The committee considers that it is appropriate, proportionate and in the public interest for the protection of the reputation of the profession to issue you with a warning."

This case arose from a complaint made to the GMC in August 2010 by the patient's mother.

The complainant alleged he abused his position to push religion upon a vulnerable patient.

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