The current health care crisis in the United States has prompted wide interest in how medical systems around the world regulate themselves. This comprehensive book considers whether or not Britain's General Medical Council of professional conduct jurisdiction acts fairly and justly when dealing both with doctors whose conduct it controls, and members of the public whose interests it was established to protect. By looking at the legal history of the Council since its inception to the present, it is possible to see how the system of medical discipline in Britain developed, to reveal its present anomalies and problems, and to see how best to improve the system, if, indeed, such a system is worthy of preservation. Questions such as the role of lay members on the Council, the use of lawyers and Legal Assessors in hearings, how medical issues are resolved and how standards of conduct are set for the profession, are all considered. Over 2,000 disciplinary cases are then surveyed in terms of the type of allegations made, what sort of doctors are involved, and how they are dealt with. Detailed suggestions are finally made for improving the system.
`This meticulously researched book will be of interest to anyone concerned with the issue of professional self-regulation.'
Medical Law Monitor
`'Russell Smith has produced a work which must become compulsory reading for all future students and critics of the disciplinary role of the General Medical Council. This book is a veritable mine of information...Consequently this book is of as much, if not more, interest to the public lawyer as to the medical lawyer or ethicist.''
Medical Law Review
`'a thorough appraisal of the Council's function as a judicial body...a valuable resource for students of the development of the profession since 1858, and a solid foundation for any more general historical account of the GMC.''