A secularist group has failed to persuade a regulator to punish a Christian doctor after the General Medical Council (GMC) decided its complaint was merely “hearsay”.
The National Secular Society (NSS) complained to the GMC – the group that regulates all doctors – over an anonymous claim about how Dr Richard Scott expressed his faith.
But the GMC has decided there is no case to answer, prompting Dr Scott to call the NSS attempt “vexatious”. He was supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
The NSS wrote to the GMC to highlight a case of a patient who was apparently made “uncomfortable by Dr Scott’s use of prayer”.
An “acquaintance” claimed the patient was “highly vulnerable”.
But Dr Scott says the GMC has now said: “There is no first-hand account of complaint from any patient” and there is “no convincing evidence that Dr Scott imposes his personal religious beliefs upon potentially vulnerable patients”.
It added that the NSS’s report was an “anonymous hearsay account”.
The GMC also noted that Dr Scott’s medical practice, in Kent, “states that the majority of the Partners are Christians and that this faith guides the way in which they view their work”.
Responding to the decision, Dr Scott said: “This complaint should never have got to this stage”.
“The toll placed on my family and me, as a result of one spurious complaint, was totally unnecessary.
“Yet it is my hope that this outcome will mean other Christian practitioners will not have to go through similar experiences.”