Majority against regulating doctors' lives outside medicine

  • Date: 27 October 2011

A SURVEY has found that 94 per cent of the general public do not think the GMC should regulate doctors' private lives outside medicine.

The poll was conducted as part of the GMC’s review of its core guidance for doctors Good Medical Practice.

A total of 1,167 people responded to the online survey with 1,100 (94 per cent) saying the GMC should not take an interest in doctors' lives outside the clinical environment. Only 54 (five per cent) of respondents thought it was appropriate with the rest (1 per cent) not sure.

Among comments received in regard to the questions was: "If a doctor's behaviour is legal and doesn't affect their clinical practice, it is none of the GMC's business."

Another respondent said: "What doctors do in their own time is entirely up to them, so long as it is lawful, they have no less of a right to privacy than any other member of the population."

Given the very large response to this question, the GMC have decided to ask a specific question about doctors' lives outside medicine in its formal consultation.

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