A British doctor has allegedly been fired for believing that babies are born either male or female.
Despite amassing 26 years as a physician in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), Dr. David Mackeretha was refused a job as a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) disability assessor if he refused to refer to patients as being of a sex that they did not identify themselves as.
The 55-year-old is of the firm belief that sex is genetic and biological, and is established at birth. He has claimed that his right to freedom of speech has been violated and that he has been discriminated against and told he is “unfit” for the job as a result of his religious convictions. Mackeretha is concerned that more professionals will be pushed out the door for holding views that are “centuries old.”
“I’m not attacking the transgender movement. But, I’m defending my right to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief,” the veteran doctor told the Telegraph. “I don’t believe I should be compelled to use a specific pronoun. I am not setting out to upset anyone. But, if upsetting someone can lead to doctors being sacked then, as a society we have to examine where we are going.”
Dr. Mackereth, who is part of the Reformed Baptist denomination, commenced a training course in May to become a health and disability assessor for the DWP. In this role, the medic would have interviewed those who were seeking disability allowance. But when the training instructor noted that patients must be addressed by their preferred gender pronoun, a discussion ensued between the doctors and training staff.
“I said that I had a problem with this. I believe that gender is defined by biology and genetics. And that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female,” he recalled. “I could have kept my mouth shut. But, it was the right time to raise it.”
He added: “The tutor took me aside and said he had passed my comments up the chain to the DWP.”
Advanced Personnel Management (APM) then emailed Mackereth advising him that the DWP had consulted lawyers and that there was no leeway in terms of the enforcement of client policy. He was then told that, should he refuse to comply with the policy, it “could be considered to be harassment as defined by the 2010 Equality Act.”
The doctor replied that he would not be able to comply with the policy “in good conscience,” as he felt it clashed with his personal religious beliefs. Following this, Mackereth’s contract was terminated by the DWP. The whole ordeal has highly disturbed the experienced medical professional, who had spent over two decades working in NHS Accident & Emergency wards.
“Firstly, we are not allowed to say what we believe” he explained. “Secondly, as my case shows, we are not allowed to think what we believe. Finally, we are not allowed to defend what we believe.”
Mackereth said that those working in the NHS now run the risk of “coming under ferocious attack” for holding beliefs that have been “believed by mankind for centuries – namely that gender and sex are determined at birth.”
“If we are no longer allowed to say that you believe sex and gender are the same and are determined at birth, everyone who holds my views can be sacked on the spot under this Act. I’m not an isolated case,” he concluded.
A DWP spokeswoman said that, in adherence with the Equality Act 2010, gender is classed as “protected characteristic” and must not be violated by those who hold different beliefs.
“Dr. Mackereth made it clear during his training that he would refuse to use pronouns which did not match his own view of a person’s biological gender,” she said. “We expect all assessors to handle assessments sensitively and adhere to the Equality Act 2010.”