Intended for healthcare professionals


GMC should rethink the way it accuses doctors of sexual motivation during intimate examinations, says judge

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 24 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3744
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A High Court judge has suggested that the General Medical Council should rethink the way it formulates charges against doctors it accuses of having a sexual motivation in carrying out intimate examinations on patients.1

Mrs Justice Foster made her comments when allowing the GMC’s appeal against a finding by a medical practitioners tribunal that two intimate examinations by a GP were not sexually motivated.

She suggested that the usual form of GMC charge in such cases, setting out what the doctor is alleged to have done, and then alleging in a further charge that the motivation was sexual, might have overcomplicated the task for the tribunal. She proposed that, although the context was different, the GMC should look at what constitutes a sexual …

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