GMC developing guidance on assisted suicide

The GMC is developing guidance on what action should be taken if a doctor is alleged to have assisted in a suicide.

The GMC said it will introduce guidance for its GMC case examiners and the Investigation Committee on how to deal with doctors who may have assisted in a suicide.

The GMC said the guidance will look at factors that might be relevant in determining the seriousness of each case.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said doctors must always act within the law as assisting or encouraging suicide remains a criminal offence.

He said: ‘This guidance will not in any way change the legal position for doctors. It is not our role to take a position on whether or not the law should be changes.

‘We recognise however that there are a arrange of actions which could be considered as assisting in a suicide, such as providing information to a patient about suicide or providing practical assistance for someone to travel to a clinic such as Dignitas.’

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