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Malpractice, Criminality, and Medical Regulation: Reforming the Role of the GMC in Fitness to Practise Panels / Marty Chamberlain

Medical Law Review, Volume: 25, Issue: 1, Pages: 1 - 22

Swansea University Author: Marty Chamberlain

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DOI (Published version): 10.1093/medlaw/fww025

Abstract

A recent Law Commission Review emphasised that medical fitness to practice panels (also called medical practitioners tribunals) are an important legal mechanism for ensuring that public trust in medical regulation is maintained when a complaint is made against a doctor. This paper examines trends ov...

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Published in: Medical Law Review
ISSN: 0967-0742 1464-3790
Published: 2017
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa29693
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Abstract: A recent Law Commission Review emphasised that medical fitness to practice panels (also called medical practitioners tribunals) are an important legal mechanism for ensuring that public trust in medical regulation is maintained when a complaint is made against a doctor. This paper examines trends over time in panel outcomes to identify their effectiveness in ensuring public protection. Although a rise in complaints, and a change from the criminal to civil standard of proof, has not led to more doctors being struck off the medical register, increasingly action is being taken to provide advice, issue warnings and agree rehabilitative forms of action with doctors. It is argued that these trends are congruent with the broader adoption of a risk-based approach to professional regulation. Legal reforms to maintain public trust must ensure that the shift towards risk-averse forms of professional accountability do not sacrifice public safety and due process for the sake of political pragmatic exigency.
Keywords: Complaints, fitness to practise, General Medical Council, medical regulation, medical practitioners tribunal, Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service
Issue: 1
Start Page: 1
End Page: 22