Thursday, February 22, 2007

End to doctors' self-policing in the UK

There's some good news to report today. Doctors will lose the right to police themselves, at least if the UK government has its way. That probably is a good idea. For justice to be done it needs also to be seen to be done. A profession that essentially polices itself is about as credible an arbiter in conflicts between patients and doctors as an insurance industry having a policing body made up of insurance sales persons. Being a professional means to serve the public good. In return for us as society conceding a great deal of professional autonomy to doctors we expect a substantial degree of accountability in return. This objective was never met under the current regime. Change has long been overdue.

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