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GP suspended for six months after prescribing drug to hasten patient’s death

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1056 (Published 28 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1056
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1London

    A Glasgow GP has been suspended for six months by the General Medical Council after a disciplinary panel ruled that he prescribed sodium amytal (Amytal) to an elderly patient “solely for the purpose of ending her life.”

    Iain Kerr, aged 61, was also found to have inappropriately prescribed sodium amytal to three other patients, in breach of guidelines laid down by the Committee on Safety of Medicines, which limit the drug’s use to cases of severe intractable insomnia.

    Dr Kerr was first investigated after telling a colleague during an appraisal interview in 2004 that he sometimes prescribed sodium amytal to help patients who …

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