Doctors Who Act According to Their Conscience to Be Struck Off?

Click here for an article on a horrendous attack on the consciences of doctors and medical practitioners by the General Medical Council, who are threatening to strike off from their membership doctors who do not agree with withdrawing hydration and food from patients who are expressed a wish for it to be removed.

Doctors take the hippocratic oath to defend life, to save life and to preserve life. People go to hospital to receive treatment. People should not go to hospital to die. Doctors who wish to preserve human life, rather than end it, should not have their careers threatened by an unelected medical body with absolutely no moral jurisdiction over the conduct of doctors.

As Dominica Roberts, chairman of the campaign group, Pro-Life Alliance, said...

“Everybody has the right to refuse treatment if they do not want it. But feeding and hydrating a patient, even artificially, is not treatment it is care. It is wrong to view it as treatment rather than care. I do understand that at the very end of life patients do get to the point where it no longer benefits them but to withdraw it when it is helping patients is the same as withdrawing cleaning care.”


Magdalena said…
Hi Laurence, I hope the good fight is going well. I wanted to draw your attention to this:

You might recall in our earlier abortion debate Roan raised the 'simplicity' of defining biological life. Well, I mentioned at the time that synthetic biologists were getting pretty close to blurring the distinction between 'natural' and 'non-natural', or 'life' and 'inanimate matter' by creating living organisms in the lab. Thought your readers would be interested in the article. I suspect you will be 'agin' it, but I was personally curious about the ethical implications for a species now inhabiting a world where there old certainties and distinctions no longer seem to hold

Scary/exciting times eh (delete as appropriate)?
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics said…
Actually this post is misleading and inaccurate. The revised guidelines announced today specifically include a conscience clause which allows any doctor to opt out of withdrawing hydration etc. However they are ethically obliged at this point to handover responsibility for care to another doctor.There are also a number o increased safegaurds. Overall this is an improvement and should be commended.
Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics said…
Should read Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics - the blog obviously doesn't like me using an '&'
The Cardinal said…
For a balanced review of the new GMC guidelines from a Catholic viewpoint, read the leading Tablet article available free online...
Paulinus said…
You are such a scaremongering twat!
GayLord said…
Hi laurence,
I bumped into one of your old boyfriends yesterday. He said to say hi. When you're over all this religious self-hate lark, it would be nice to meet up for a drink.Don't take yourself too seriously!
HaoG said…
Hi Laurence,

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Hi GayLord

I'd happily meet you for a pint, but you've forgotten to mention your name before discussing my private life in the comments section.

You're not Peter Tatchell are you?
Paulinus, why's this story so scaremongering?
Patricius said…
Perhaps a minor quibble- but none of the doctors I know ever took the Hippocratic oath. Indeed I doubt that any Christian could take it since it is addressed to pagan deities. Might it be a Hollywood myth?
Paulinus said…
''Paulinus, why's this story so scaremongering?''

Because it's factually incorrect and bias. You're clearly attempting to scare people. In fact, the new guidelines are clearly an improvement and provide greater safeguards especially around the issue of conscientious objection.
GayLord said…
Sorry Laurence,
I didn't realise you were back in the closet again. Anyway, anyone can tell your sexuality in an instant from your mannerisms etc. You must be kidding yourself if you think otherwise.
And I told you my name, it's Gaylord or at least that's my nickname. Nobody knows me by my birth name (and I changed it by deed poll following my gender reassignment surgery anyway).
The Cardinal said…
Have you read the Tablet piece on this issue yet to educate yourself?
If so, you need to correct your article. Don't (even freelance - read 'unemployed') Journalists have ethical standards?
Sorry, Cardinal, I nicked that headline straight off The Telegraph.

Gay Lord.

There is only one Lord and He is Lord of all. I was just pointing out that unless you identified yourself in a manner by which I would recognise your identity, instead of hiding behind some awful 'nickname', perhaps we could go for a pint.

But, then again, given that you are not trustworthy with even the most basic of personal information, I expect meeting you for a drink would be a gross mistake.
By the way, what's a 'Cardinal' doing reading The Tablet anyway?
Paulinus, I don't agree with you.

The new guidelines give doctors who do agree with withdrawing nutrition and hydration from a patient an opt out - to the extent that they are called upon to hand over responsibility to another doctor.

Sadly, it sounds rather like Pontius Pilate handing over Christ to the mob to be crucified. Catholic doctors would have to 'wash their hands' of a patient.
"So its, 'I won't starve you to death at your choosing,' but I can pass you onto Dr Gaylord who will."
The Cardinal said…
Laurence my dear fellow,
All the best cardinals (and popes) read the Tablet. Don't fool yourself otherwise. There's many good artcles and news in it. Vincent Nichols even wrote a pices the other week. You'd do better to read some mainstream catholic media instead of the vile and distorted nonsense within the tradosphere.
Paulinus said…
Well if a patient wishes for hydration to be withdrawn (and there are sufficient safeguards in place) then that's fair enough. Their wishes should be followed. That's a respectable and traditional/orthodox Catholic position. Life does not have to be prolonged indefinately even if we do have the scientific means to do so - that is not natural. Even John Paul II knew when the end was nign and did not seek to distort God's will.
The new guidelines are not perfect but they are a big move in the right direction. We should give credit where it's due and continue to use our influence for further revisions as necessary.
Paulinus said…
Well if a pateient decides they want hydration withdrawn (and there are sufficent safeguards in place)then that's fair enough. Their instructions should be followed. Just because we have the scientific means to prolong life indefinately doesn't mean we should - that's not natural. This is not euthanasia, it's compassion. This is an entirely respectable and traditional / orthodox position.
Even John Paul II knew when the Father was calling him and didn't try to go against his will. He had the courage to let go.
I thought that in the case of Terry Schiavo, it was precisely over the removal of hydration and nutrition that the controversy emerged.

Basically the family starved her to death. That's not a nice way to die Paulinus.