Dr. David Mackereth estimates that he has treated more than 20,000 people for more than 20 years as an NHS A&E physician.
As you would expect in a busy department & # 39; Everything and Everything & # 39 ;, patients come in all shapes and sizes, and from every race and every credo.
Young and old, he sees every gender and every sexual orientation.
Dr. David Mackereth thinks he has treated more than 120,000 people for over 20 years as an NHS A&E doctor
It makes no difference to him who hears a broken arm, he says, and he has never refused to treat a patient.
As an evangelical Christian, he considers himself a compassionate, caring, and highly ethical physician, but he always keeps his religious beliefs to himself.
& # 39; If I were to impose my Christian beliefs on patients, I would very quickly lose my job & # 39 ;, he says.
& # 39; My job is to treat their chest or sepsis infection, dress up wounds, and save lives. I can't be prejudiced – and I wouldn't want to be. & # 39;
So the silent and unobtrusive married four-legged friend had never imagined himself giving Piers Morgan a burning & # 39; bigot & # 39; on live breakfast TV, just like last week, and because he was afraid he would never work as a doctor again.
Nor that he would be at the center of a legal test case about one of the most discordant and burning issues in society – transgender rights.
Or, more specifically, whether a physician should be legally required to use the pronoun & # 39; she & # 39; to use when addressing someone who has a & # 39; he & # 39; is born – and vice versa – on request, even if that is contrary to the doctor's religious beliefs.
Last week, Dr. Mackereth (56) told an employment court that he lost his new job in a government department after he said he would refuse to refer to & # 39; a 6ft bearded man & # 39; if & # 39; mrs & # 39 ;.
He claimed that he was dismissed by the Ministry of Labor and Pensions (DWP) as a sworn assessor because of his religious beliefs and that he is the victim of discrimination.
The doctor claimed that during his two-week training he was asked this hypothetical question in June last year, just four days after work,: & # 39; If you have a man, 6ft tall with a beard, who says he is addressee wants to be treated & # 39; she "and" madam ", would you do that? & # 39;
When Dr. Mackereth, of Dudley in the West Midlands, said that his religious conscience would not allow him, he claims he was fired.
He further claimed that no effort had been made to incorporate his beliefs, such as referring transgender clients to the Five Ways Assessment Center in Birmingham to another physician.
But center manager James Owen denied this – he told the tribunal that there had been no such & # 39; bearded man & # 39; discussion, nor had Dr. Mackereth been suspended or fired.
Mr. Owen described the meeting as follows: & I asked the claimant if he would respect the client's wish to be identified based on his chosen sexuality and name and would like to convey that in his written report .
& # 39; The claimant categorically stated that he would not do so because of his beliefs and he could not report that because his conscience would not allow it. The claimant also stated that he understood that his behavior could be offensive. & # 39;
Owen told the tribunal, which ended on Friday, that "at no time did the plaintiff request not to go back to work," and added that he "respected his wishes not to work."
Dr. Mackereth found his calling in A & E, primarily working as a night doctor in various hospital departments in the UK. Above: the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, Shropshire, where Dr. Mackereth worked for seven years for his new job at the DWP
The tribunal heard that Dr. Mackereth did not go to work after the meeting and claimed that he was awaiting a decision from the DWP claiming that his religious objections were in violation of the 2010 Equality Act.
The DWP claimed that the doctor chose to leave his job.
APM, the recruitment company that hires the doctor, is also charged with religious discrimination.
The company claims that the beliefs of the doctor & # 39; are not compatible with human dignity & # 39 ;.
The reserved judgment is expected in September.
So what does Dr. Mackereth say to those who might agree with the accusation of & # 39; intolerance & # 39; by Piers Morgan?
& # 39; I was quite literally gobsmacked when he called me a fool, and when I asked him what he meant by that, he didn't even answer & # 39 ;, says Dr. Mackereth.
& # 39; But historically, the word & # 39; & # 39; applied to people like myself who refuse to compromise their conscience.
That is actually a badge of honor, regardless of how the word is used today. So although it's meant as an insult, to me as a Christian, it's actually a compliment. & # 39;
But why not all of us have the legal right to be identified by whatever name or pronoun we choose? At this gender-smooth age – when social media sites offer us at least 58 gender options – why does it even matter?
And what about those vulnerable people who are assessed on disability benefits, who can suffer from serious physical or mental health problems and whose well-being can depend on every word written about them by their medical assessor?
Dr. Mackereth says he fully accepts that some people – Christians among them – genuinely believe that they were born trapped in the wrong body and that they are happier to identify themselves as a different gender.
That is their right, he says, just as it is to have a different opinion and to express it freely.
& # 39; If a person has a real dysphoria and it is believed that they are trapped in the wrong body with great conviction, I cannot answer the question as to whether that is true or not & he says.
& # 39; I can only say that I don't believe you can change sex and I don't believe you can get caught in the wrong body, but I accept that they both believe and that there should be no hesitation in treating such people.
& # 39; I'm not looking for problems, I don't want to upset or worry people. I'm not forcing people to say, "Come on, you're not really a woman." I have a lot of compassion for every patient I see.
& # 39; But I cannot change the fact that as a Bible-believing Christian, I believe that God has made people male and female and that this cannot change.
The silent and modestly married four-father had never imagined himself on a live breakfast TV a & # 39; bigot & # 39; van Piers Morgan, just like last week, and because he was afraid he would never work as a doctor again
& I therefore consider it sinful and undermining for Christian theology to change the way we use pronouns.
& # 39; I try not to offend anyone, although I accept that some people find such beliefs offensive.
& # 39; We are not going to attack transgender people – we want to emphasize that as Christians we love transgender people, although we disagree with the transgender movement.
& # 39; The point is that if we say that God has made us masculine or feminine, we are talking about something that cannot change theologically or scientifically, so by using pronouns in a different way, we would lie. We would be unfair. & # 39;
Whether his case is successful or not, Dr. Mackereth believes that the outcome can have important legal implications for everyone – but especially for the medical world.
Today Dr. Mackereth works for the NHS part-time again, as an A&E doctor in Shropshire – but after his DWP job ended abruptly, he said he was terrified that he would never work again
Emand Someone who presents very clearly as a man has the right to say "call me ma'am" or "call me", but the question is, am I legally obliged to do that? "He asks.
& # 39; And if you are legally obliged to refer patients in a way that does not allow your conscience, does that mean that you are no longer fit to become a doctor?
& # 39; In this case it's about whether I can legally say clearly – based on my religious conscience – & # 39; No, I can't & # 39; she & # 39; or & # 39; he & # 39; not because I want to hurt you or do not accept you, but because my Christian beliefs simply do not allow me to do that. "
& # 39; The pronouns & # 39; he & # 39; and & # 39; they & # 39; in particular are the glue that holds our language together.
& # 39; Words can be more powerful than atomic bombs if they are used in a new way.
& # 39; If they become fluid in their sense and are used in any way, they simply become meaningless.
& # 39; Add legal sanctions if you mislead anyone, and I believe we have a very complicated and worrying problem in our hands.
& # 39; We may be about to commit a hate crime by simply using the wrong pronoun. & # 39;
Dr. Mackereth, born in Surrey, says he was an atheist before he discovered Christianity at the age of 18 through his religious friends at St. Andrews University in Scotland, where he began his medical degree.
He graduated in 1988 as a doctor at the University of Manchester and took four years from 1990 to 1994 to study theology and work in the evangelical ministry.
When he returned to medicine, he found his calling in A&E, primarily working as a night doctor in various hospital departments in the UK.
& # 39; I love A & E. I love contact with people, I like the feeling that I have no idea what kind of condition I will see next.
& # 39; I like complex challenges, riddles and the enormous companionship & # 39 ;, he says.
& # 39; At that time there were three transgender patients I can remember, but there may have been a hundred more for everything I know and I just didn't know.
& # 39; I may even have used the wrong pronoun, but that is no sin if you don't know. I treat everyone who walks through our doors without judgment or prejudice. & # 39;
He discovered the question of how to address the transgender patients he knew by simply referring to them with their names and them & # 39; the patient & # 39; to be mentioned in notes. A simple solution he never complained about.
& # 39; In the NHS and A&E, the issue of gender is not that tense. I may have felt a bit uncomfortable as a female name for someone born biologically male, but even as a Christian it would have been very difficult for me to come up with an argument not to use their chosen name. & # 39;
It wasn't that easy after he applied for the new job at the DWP.
He had gone for the post-cardiovascular disease operation, hoping to find a less stressful nine-in-five job that would also give him time to develop medical technological advances.
& # 39; A DWP report is written in a very precise legal language and the very precise, rigid format is that you begin with the customer's name and the remainder of the report becomes the pronoun & # 39; he & # 39; or & # 39; she uses & # 39; & # 39; he says.
& # 39; During the DWP training in London, the question was not asked alone, because – for most of us doctors – this is a new situation where we have to use pronouns in a different way than we are aware of.
& # 39; I could say that as a Christian I had a problem with my conscience using these pronouns in what I think was an arbitrary way – like anyone who could come and say they wanted to be called "he", " she "," Mr "or" Mrs "when that could not be proven medically or scientifically.
& # 39; There is a lot of confusion among the people I work with, about what we can and cannot say and what we can and may do.
& # 39; The implication of forcing us to use this language is very important for society, as if we are not allowed to follow our beliefs, that is the day we lose our freedom.
& # 39; A transgender person has every right to say, "I want to be called by such & # 39; n and that pronoun", but to force me to use that pronoun is really an important step.
& # 39; I would even claim that if you were to remove every doctor and nurse with a conscience from the NHS because of this issue, not much NHS would be left. & # 39;
Today Dr. Mackereth works again for the NHS part-time, as an A&E doctor in Shropshire, but after his DWP job ends abruptly, he says he is terrified that he would never work again.
& # 39; So many doctors and nurses have secretly said to me: & # 39; We agree with you, David, we are very concerned about what's going on & # 39 ;, says Dr. Mackereth, who believes that many like him fear being branded transphobically.
& # 39; There is a massive tidal wave of support, but there is a climate of fear & # 39 ;, he adds. & # 39; It seems good for one party to talk about transgender problems, but not the other.
& # 39; There are many doctors and nurses who are concerned because when we are forced to do something we disagree with – contrary to our beliefs – we lose our integrity. & # 39;
& # 39; For many of us, the transgender movement, now accepted by the mainstream, suddenly emerged out of nowhere and we are expected to believe and accept it, he adds.
& # 39; But it is not accepted by everyone. Far from it. It is pushed into society at great speed without taking the time to listen to what people have to say. It is almost a form of moral coercion. & # 39;
Dr. Mackereth is supported by the Christian Legal Center, whose director Andrea Williams said: & # 39; This case has huge implications for who and what we are as a society and the language we can use.
& # 39; If we sacrifice freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, no other freedom is safe. & # 39;
The DWP told the Mail that it could not comment on the case before the verdict.
Should he lose, Dr. Mackereth fears that future doctors may be excluded from work – or not hired in the first place – if they refuse to jeopardize their religious beliefs.
& # 39; I work in a situation where we save lives every day & # 39 ;, he says. & # 39; If you take me out of the comparison for the sake of a pronoun, who will save the lives I am saving?
& # 39; And if you only hire doctors who agree with you, you will no longer have a conscientious service. & # 39;
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