Thursday, December 15, 2011

GMC Will Draft Guidance on Assisted Suicide

According to this report in The Guardian, the UK's General Medical Council is planning to issue new guidance for investigation of physicians who've allegedly assisted a patient in suicide. The problem is in part with uncertainty over what sorts of actions by doctors really count as assisting in suicide. Is a sympathetic conversation enough to count as "assisting"? How about a factual assertion about the availability of assisted suicide in Switzerland? Some physicians' words or actions may not lead to criminal charges, but may nonetheless lead to complaints about their fitness to practice; a handful of investigations of this sort have already been conducted.

GMC plans to publish the guidelines for public comment next month.

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