By Ashwin, UK Correspondent, [RxPG] The GMC has today filed an appeal against aspects of the judgement made in the judicial review of our guidance Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatment.
GMC welcomed much of the judgment, but we are concerned that some key issues are unclear. The GMC has a duty to provide doctors with clear guidance to assist with their decision making.
This is an area where the law is complex and continues to evolve, especially in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights. The courts are the right place to reach a clear understanding of the legal framework from which GMC can develop helpful professional guidance. The issues raised in the case are of fundamental importance to everyone in society. In granting leave to appeal, Mr Justice Munby himself suggested a compelling public interest in favour of taking these matters to the Appeal Court.
Ms Ruth Evans, Chair of the GMC Standards and Ethics Committee said "The question whether a life-prolonging treatment should be started, or should be withdrawn, is painful for patients, their family and the doctors to address. Some patients will want everything possible to be done, while others will want to avoid too much medical intervention, when they are nearing the end of life. Doctors want clear guidance to help ensure individual patients receive the care thats right for them. This is why we are appealing the judgement.
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