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GMC guidance is welcomed by doctors

The GMC's statutory purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

We agree with Dr Findlater that patient care is of primary importance and is at the heart of what we do as a regulator.

It is not part of our role to 'micromanage healthcare delivery' - as Dr Findlater suggests - and we do not attempt to. But we do produce comprehensive guidance that addresses a wide range of issues of concern to doctors.

Each month our core guidance for doctors, Good Medical Practice, is downloaded more than 2,000 times from our website (go to and follow the links).

Such guidance is developed through engagement with the profession and public.

Recently we published Personal Beliefs and Medical Practice as a result of growing numbers of enquiries from doctors.

The guidance recognises that doctors have personal beliefs that may affect their day-to-day practice and clarifies the distinction between conscientious objection to a procedure and discrimination against patients. It has been welcomed by many in the profession as helpful, clear and sensible.

From Paul Philip, director of standards and fitness to practise, GMC

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