GMC advised to rethink personal belief advice

The BMA has urged the GMC to 'think again' and develop guidance on personal beliefs that protects both doctors and patients.

The draft proposals in 'Personal beliefs and medical practice' extend the right of doctors to opt out of procedures due to their beliefs.

The BMA would like the number of treatments that a doctor can object to limited to a clearly defined set. They advise that guidance makes it clear that intentionally to fail to inform patients about all available treatment would be gross misconduct.

Dr Tony Calland, chairman of the BMA medical ethics committee, said: 'This guidance will not benefit doctors or patients. It seems to give doctors a mandate to opt out of procedures to which they have an ethical objection.'

The BMA is concerned that this will confuse patients as to whether treatment has been refused because it is not clinically appropriate, or because the doctor objects to the treatment or the patient's lifestyle.

The GMC said: 'We foresee considerable difficulty in determining which treatments should be covered by our guidance on conscientious objections, and those which doctors should be forced to provide.'

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

GMC draft guidance

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs demand 'early warning system' as drug shortages drive up workload

GPs demand 'early warning system' as drug shortages drive up workload

GP leaders have demanded an 'early warning system' to flag up medicine supply problems...

GPs need minimum 3.2% pay rise plus plan to reverse cuts, says BMA

GPs need minimum 3.2% pay rise plus plan to reverse cuts, says BMA

Pay for all doctors should rise by a minimum of 3.2% in 2019/20, the BMA has warned...

Solution to GP workforce crisis must come before NHS reform, MPs told

Solution to GP workforce crisis must come before NHS reform, MPs told

The workforce crisis and underfunding of general practice must be tackled before...

Multimorbidity: The gap between guidelines and the reality in practice

Multimorbidity: The gap between guidelines and the reality in practice

Delivering outcome-focused care to patients with comorbidities is increasingly problematic...

Doctors 'severely let down' by pay review body, warns BMA

Doctors 'severely let down' by pay review body, warns BMA

BMA leaders have demanded changes to the review process that sets GP pay, warning...

GP appointments data reveal year-on-year rise in workload

GP appointments data reveal year-on-year rise in workload

GP practices across England delivered nearly 500,000 more appointments in November...