GMC: Guidance relating to encouraging or assisting suicide.

The General Medical Council, which regulates medical practice in the UK, has published guidance for the Investigation Committee and for case examiners considering allegations about a doctor’s involvement in encouraging or assisting suicide.

This guidance makes clear that encouraging or assisting another person’s suicide is a criminal offence in Britain.

It also draws attention to the GMC’s duty to act in the public interest, which it defines as: protecting patients; maintaining public confidence in the medical profession; and declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct and behaviour.

Having observed that “it is difficult to lay down hard and fast rules”, the guidance lists a number of situations which might (or might not) raise questions as to a doctor’s fitness to practice.


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