Double standards for doctors and MPs

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 03 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1430

For students of political duplicity the present predicament of British MPs is a connoisseur's delight. It is a perfect example of the dictum of rulers down the ages: do as I say, not as I do. The dilemma arises because a bill to regulate the medical profession is currently before parliament while its own members are under scrutiny for misconduct and malpractice.

Recent episodes of sexual and financial misbehaviour by MPs resulted in the Nolan committee on standards in public life recommending that MPs should conform to a code of conduct supervised by an ombudsman. There are calls to go even further and bring the professional conduct of MPs within statutory law. All these moves are meeting resistance from MPs on the grounds that they infringe parliament's right to regulate its …

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