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Good luck, today, to the doctor who dares to tell the truth


DR David Mackereth is in court today, suing the government over his dismissal for refusing to use transgender pronouns. 

As TCW reported at the time, Dr Mackereth was undergoing training last year to work as a disability assessor for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) after 26 years as an A&E doctor. When asked whether he would refer to patients according to their chosen pronoun, Dr Mackereth replied that, in good conscience, he could not refer to someone who is obviously a biological male as if he were female. The DWP promptly terminated his contract. 

Dr Mackereth is firstly a doctor who understands something about biology. He is also a Christian who is committed to telling the truth. His faith and his scientific training lead him to the not unreasonable belief that gender and biology are inextricably linked, a belief shared by the vast majority of people throughout human history. Until the DWP.

The DWP insisted that Dr Mackereth refer to patients by their chosen gender. Perhaps he should also treat them according to their chosen diagnosis? Prescribe them their chosen medication? Use their chosen terms for body parts? See them at their chosen appointment times? Perhaps so!

The DWP is insisting that Dr Mackereth should lie, that he should call a man a woman if the patient wants. If the patient wants to be told there is nothing wrong with him, what then? If he wants to be told that his incurable disease is actually curable, what then? If he wants to be told he can live for ever, what then? If he wants 5+5 to equal 11 what then? If he wants to be called a cat? Oh yes, transspecies is coming next and you’d better not deny who they really are!

The DWP has no right to tell doctors to lie. It is a violation of freedom of conscience. It undermines the integrity of the profession which depends on truth-telling. It is also a violation of free speech. Doctors must be able to say what they believe about someone. It is further a violation of freedom of religion. Dr Mackereth’s beliefs about people being created male and female are strongly informed by both science and faith. The DWP has conspired to violate freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and freedom of religion all in one act!

One would hope that most doctors are people with consciences who are committed to telling the truth. One would hope that the government would want to encourage and protect truth-telling in society, and certainly in the medical professions. Dr Mackereth is one such doctor with 26 years’ experience. Yet the DWP single him out for the sack.

I hope Dr Mackereth wins his case and, in a rare moment of common sense, society agrees that doctors should tell the truth. If he loses –perhaps we’d better not tell the truth about that!

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Tim Dieppe
Tim Dieppe
Tim Dieppe is Head of Public Policy at Christian Concern.

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