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Is an apology called for?

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:67
  1. Mary R Bliss, consultant geriatrician.
  1. London

    Dr David Moor had many friends and patients to support him during his trial for murder for providing analgesia for a dying patient in 1997, and most people were relieved by his acquittal. Another general practitioner, however, has been less fortunate.

    In 1995 a nurse reported Dr Ken Taylor to the police for refusing to continue to prescribe Fresubin, a nutritional supplement, to an 86 year old woman with terminal cerebrovascular disease, who was being cared for in a nursing home. She was unable to feed normally so the supplement was being squirted into her mouth with a syringe. Her family found this “horrifying to watch, agony really.” They did not object to the feeds being discontinued and thought that Dr Taylor took good care of their mother, who died eight weeks later.

    The GMC seems to be in danger of becoming a kind of medical inquisition

    The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge Dr Taylor, but referred him to the General Medical Council. As a …

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