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GMC draft guidance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

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

The government must scrap its high-risk ‘rule of six’ and introduce more stringent...

Average GP practice list tops 9,000 after 30% rise in seven years

Average GP practice list tops 9,000 after 30% rise in seven years

The average GP practice list has risen beyond 9,000 patients for the first time after...

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

GP dilemma: What should I do if a parent sends their child with COVID-19 symptoms to school?

Medical Protection's Dr Clare Devlin offers advice on how GPs should respond to parents...

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on vital COVID-19 risk assessments, BMA warns

GPs risk missing out on COVID-19 risk assessments unless practices are guaranteed...

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs call for partial suspension of network DES amid heavy workload

GPs leading primary care networks (PCNs) have called for the partial suspension of...

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

UK COVID-19 alert level raised as GPs prioritised for testing

The government has raised the UK's COVID-19 alert level to four amid reports that...