Christian doctor barred from practising after ‘demeaning’ posts against LGBT+ people and ‘endorsing’ genocide
Australian Christian doctor Jereth Kok was stripped of the right to practise after he appeared to “endorse or call for violence and/or genocide towards racial and religious groups” as well as towards the LGBT+ community on social media.
Working within Melbourne’s letter stamp suburbs, Dr Kok had for years candidly expressed his inflammatory views on his social media accounts.
Complaints against his posts began to pile from 2018 onwards and, in 2019, the Medical Board of Australia suspended him, ending his 16-yearslong career.
The decision roiled a court case that right-wing Christian activists dubbed “even more important” than Israel Folau, a disgraced rugby star who was similarly plunged into controversy and the courts for homophobic Instagram comments.
A fundraiser created on Christian crowdfunding group GiveSendGo rallied nearly AUS$2,500 for Kok in legal fees.
Fundraisers state their “truths” are that “marriage is between a man and a woman”, “there are only two genders” and that “abortion kills babies”.
Nevertheless, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld the board’s decision Monday, reported the Star Observer.
Christian doctor ‘endorsed and called for violence and genocide’ towards minorities.
The board cited more than 30 examples of Kok’s social media posts across 10 years which spewed hateful views.
“Some of the posts on a simple reading of them,” the courts said, “arguably denigrate, demean and slur medical practitioners who provide termination of pregnancies, recognise and treat gender dysphoria (in a manner that is in accordance with accepted medical practice) and recognise that people who identify as transgender are not suffering from a mental health condition.
Moreover, the tribunal added, many of the posts when read “in isolation” appeared to endorse and provoke “violence and/or genocide towards racial and religious groups and endorse calls for capital punishment for members of the profession who provide termination of pregnancy services.
“Some of the posts do arguably express demeaning views regarding LGBQTI individuals.”
Courts overwhelmingly decided to double down on the board’s move to bar Kok.
Courts strip Dr Jereth Kok of right to practise, citing ‘concerns’ towards the care he could provide patients.
“Any patient who discovers that Dr Kok expresses views on matters very personal to their own situation could reasonably question whether their own care or the care of others like themselves will be compromised,” the court continued.
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“We are satisfied that such posts have the real potential to undermine public confidence in the provision of services by health professionals.
“There is a real likelihood that the maintenance of the standards of the medical profession will be undermined by such posts, particularly when posted by a registered medical practitioner.”
Kok, through his legal counsel, defended himself by alleging that the posts were taken out of context.
However, courts dismissed this defence and said:
We have grave concerns about whether the community would accept that any medical practitioner could switch, as though he were a light, from airing disrespectful views online to providing respectful and appropriate treatment for those who fall within a class he denigrates online.
“We also have concerns about the level of respect he can bring to other members of his own profession with whom he may have to engage and/or refer patients.”