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A principle to die for

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7219.1277 (Published 06 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1277
  1. Susan Pocklington, general practitioner
  1. Exmouth, Devon

    “You'd die for a principle, Sue,” was a remark made to me in another context, but which came to mind recently. On this occasion I had just appeared before a tribunal which was investigating the possible missed diagnosis of a suspended colleague. It had not been a pleasant experience. I was not so naive as to think that it would be, but I had not expected to find my own clinical competence under attack. Nor had I expected to be questioned in detail about a case without the benefit of the case notes. As I protested to the chair at the time, I do not think you should be expected to speak from memory in a court of law.

    When asked to speak on behalf of my colleague I realised that there might be some discomfort, that my relationships with the colleagues making the accusation might be compromised. Indeed, I heard of other general practitioners who had …

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