Patient alleges doctor prescribed exorcism. The U.K. medical council was told that a general practitioner told a patient to forego psychiatric care and took her to church instead.
Dr Thomas O’Brien was working as a locum when he took the woman to a Pentecostal church for a four-hour “testimony” where the exorcism allegedly took place.
Dr O’Brien has now been given conditions on his registration for 18 months after it was ruled that his professional and private boundaries became “blurred” and that he imposed his religious beliefs on the woman.
The GMC was told that he saw the patient, who has not been named, in Staffordshire. She had been prescribed antidepressant, antihypertensive and analgesic medication, but the woman claimed that she stopped taking the medication after Dr O’Brien told her “there is another way”.
She said he gave her lifts to a Pentecostal church in Stoke-on-Trent where she was advised that “God is her surgeon and God will heal her”
The patient alleges that Dr O’Brien specifically told her not to tell her psychiatrist because they “do the devil’s work”. He also threatened her with a curse for reporting to the GMC. But the patient told the psychiatrist anyway who reported the doctor’s behavior which was then reported to the GMC. They ruled his practice may post a risk to the public. Indeed. If these allegations are true, the doctor clearly crossed the line, imposing his own beliefs with disregard to the care of the patient. He denies the charges of proposing an exorcism though there is evidence his advocacy of religion was apparent. He also claims this is an attack against his faith.