Reviews Personal views

Dame Janet's disappointments

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7550.1161 (Published 11 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1161
  1. Glyn Elwyn (elwyng@cardiff.ac.uk), research professor in primary medical care
  1. Cardiff University

    Good riddance to blind faith in doctors,” was the opening line made by Dame Janet Smith at the “After Shipman” conference, held by the Royal Society of Medicine last week. The high court judge who chaired the Shipman Inquiry was reflecting on the manner in which the murders by the infamous general practitioner, and other more recent cases of medical misconduct, had broken the pillar of trust between the public and the profession. Her view was that blind faith should be replaced by transparent standards: doctors who fail against such measures “should be removed from practice”—reiterating the key argument she made in her final report on the inquiry.

    Strong leadership in the medical profession could do more

    Dame Janet then listed her disappointments, arguing that there had been little, if any, action taken by the government or the General Medical Council in response to her raft of recommendations. Death certification reforms have not been initiated. …

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