Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
Sally Hall (letters, BMJ 2009;339:b3132) is correct when she says
that the GMC does not advise doctors on how to respond to a request from a
patient for information about assisted suicide.
GMC guidance always requires doctors to work within the law.
Currently, assisting a person to commit suicide is illegal in the UK. It
is not for the GMC to decide what the law in this area should be or how it
should be applied. However, we will continue to monitor developments in UK
law and make sure that our guidance to doctors does not impose obligations
on them which are in conflict with their legal obligations. If doctors
need clarification of the law, we advise them to seek advice from their
trust or employing body, defence organisation or other professional body.