Authored by Michael Wing via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
A Christian doctor in the UK was fired for refusing to use hypothetical transgender pronouns for patients during a training session.
A court ruling followed by two separate appeals supported his being terminated; it is believed to be the first time in the history of English law where a judge ruled that free citizens must engage in “compelled speech” pertaining to transgender ideology.
Disappointed, the doctor in question, Dr. David Mackereth, 60, has since been partially vindicated by a UK professional regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC). Mackereth is now pursuing an appeal for justice from the European Court of Human Rights.
A practicing doctor for 26 years, Mackereth refused to call a man a woman or vice versa during a training session, citing that his biblical Christian beliefs prohibited it. That resulted in Mackereth being fired from his position as a health and disability assessor by his employer, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The DWP said his failure to accommodate patients’ gender preferences amounts to “harassments” under the Equality Act 2010.
In response, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Mackereth then launched a legal claim accusing the DWP of discriminating against his Christian and philosophical beliefs, though that claim fell short before the Employment Tribunal. His dismissal was deemed lawful.
Despite the verdict being partially overturned by the Employment Appeals Tribunal in May 2022, both the tribunal and, subsequently, the Court of Appeals also ruled that the firing was justified.
Yet, Mackereth recently received vindication in a response from the GMC regulative body. Without other avenues, Mackereth had self-referred to the GMC asking them to determine whether his fitness to practice was impaired by his Christian and “gender-critical” beliefs.
Responding, a letter from the GMC to Mackereth in June 2023 amounted to what some called the “first time a professional regulator have considered the issue of ‘misgendering’ and ruled in favour of one of their members,” the Christian Legal Centre stated in a press release.
In a hypothetical situation, Mackereth had been confronted with whether he would call a 6-foot bearded man “madam,” which he refused to do. Yet he insisted, as a Christian doctor, he “would never refuse to treat a patient who was in need;” and at no point in his career had he encountered a patient who asked to be identified as a different gender.
Correspondingly, the GMC wrote in their letter:
In our view it would not be proportionate to consider what might happen in a hypothetical situation such as if you were to be approached by a transgender patient for instance and we could not open an investigation on this basis.
Assessing all the rulings and legal documents, they concluded:
We also note the tribunals’ comments around whether your views might contravene GMC guidance, however, again there is no evidence to indicate that you have provided inappropriate advice or care to patients based on your views.
Mackereth said he was “delighted, grateful, and encouraged” by the letter.
This significant response also coincides with a new appeal now moving forward. All domestic remedies exhausted, Mackereth launched an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to rule on the present case.
He is asking the court to address the “implications surrounding compelled speech and forced adherence to gender identity belief as a condition of employment.”
Lawyers argue that both his Article 9 rights of freedom of thought, belief, and religion, as well as his Article 10 rights of freedom of expression, were violated by his employer, the Christian Legal Centre stated. The ECHR’s decision is expected within the next six months.
The DWP told The Epoch Times in a statement, “Dr. Mackereth resigned from his post. Dr. Mackereth brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal which was dismissed, and this decision was subsequently upheld on appeal.”
The CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Williams, called the assertion that Dr. Mackereth has resigned “disingenuous and untrue,” adding that “as a matter of record … [t]he DWP pressed Dr. Mackereth to pledge to use ‘transgender pronouns’ whenever they are wanted;
“Dr. Mackereth responded: ‘I am a Christian and in good conscience I cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me;’ DWP replied, ‘[T]hank you for your resignation which we accept;’ Dr. Mackereth rejoined, ‘I have not resigned, though I do understand that I have been sacked.’”
Now, Dr. Mackereth is calling for some “much-needed sanity,” and maintains that his claims are firmly rooted in Genesis 127—that God created man in his own image, man and woman. He stated:
Everyone in the NHS should be able to say publicly without fear that a person cannot change sex, but instead we are being forced to accept a massive change to our concept of the medical reality of sex, with no scientific basis for that change.
No doctor, or researcher, or philosopher, can demonstrate or prove that a person can change sex. Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function. I believe this conclusion from the GMC brings some much-needed sanity to these issues in the medical profession.
He added that being a Christian makes him a better doctor, and that he requires freedom of conscience to practice medicine.
Williams stated that Mackereth has sacrificed his distinguished professional career for his beliefs, adding that the compelled use of transgender pronouns defies both “common sense and Christian faith.”
“If we tolerate this as a society, if we give in on the essential freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, no other freedom is safe,” Williams said. “We are determined to fight all the way to secure justice in this case.”
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