GMC: When a patient seeks advice or information about assistance to die.

GMC Guidance to doctors on patient requests for assisted suicide

The General Medical Council, which regulates medical practice in the UK, has published guidance for doctors who may receive requests from patients for assistance with suicide.

The guidance states that in such circumstances doctors “should be prepared to listen and to discuss the reason for the patient’s request” and “be respectful and compassionate”.

However, the guidance also states that doctors should “limit any advice or information to an explanation that it is a criminal offence to encourage or assist a person to commit or attempt suicide” and that they should “assess whether the patient has any unmet palliative care needs, including pain and symptom management, psychological, social or spiritual support”.


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