Thursday, 14 June 2012

Niall Dickson, CEO of the General Medical Council and Dr Richard Alexander Scott

In recognition of the importance of the case of Dr Richard Alexander Scott (decided by GMC's Investigation Committee on 14-6-2012)  Niall Dickson GMC's CEO (photograph above) has issued the following statement:

'Our guidance is clear -  doctors must not impose their own beliefs on their patients or cause them distress by inappropriately expressing their own views.

'In this case the panel gave careful consideration to the evidence given by Dr Scott and his patient. It concluded that Dr Scott had gone too far, trying to impose his own religious beliefs on a vulnerable individual. As this is a clear breach of our guidance, the panel concluded that we were right to issue Dr Scott with a warning.

"This is not about religion, it is about respecting patients and making sure doctors do not use the incredibly privileged position they hold to push their own beliefs, however strongly held they may be.

'This case has been contentious and received a lot of comment - our aim throughout has been confined to make sure patients are protected and that our guidance is followed.'

We have been pessimistic that GMC would do the right thing in this case and it is reassuring that we have been proved wrong.

GMC does not have an easy job to do at the best of times and it would help if the political system outside GMC was up to date. UK is still in the process of moving on with times and lags behind other countries a lot in some respects. While many citizens can see the benefits of separating state and religion there is a lot of improvement that needs to be made in many British state institutions. Medical institutions themselves need not just to change but to lead the way when it comes to what must be done in public interest: separation of state and religion.
One cannot underestimate the power within population that has not been used yet to achieve true freedom for British citizens. Liberty requires sacrifices to be made at times and by many but one must never neglect defending it even after it appears to have been won. One only has to look at what happened in different countries that achieved secularism but then failed to defend freedom in times of economic turmoil.

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