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Pro-life ethos may exclude patients

I wonder if Dr Robert Hardie (Letters, October 6) lets patients registering at his 'Christian pro-life practice' know what they are letting themselves in

for before they actually sign on the dotted line?

It sounds to me as though they will be subjected to a no-choice practice that operates in contravention to current recognised standards of good practice. Indeed the GMC's Good Medical Practice states: 'The investigations or treatment you provide or arrange must be based on your clinical judgment of patients' needs and the likely effectiveness of the treatment.

'You must not allow your views about patients' lifestyle, culture, beliefs, race, colour, gender, sexuality, disability, age or social or economic status to prejudice the treatment you provide or arrange. You must not refuse or delay treatment because you believe that patients' actions have contributed to their condition.'

If the whole practice shares Dr Hardie's attitudes, patients from other religious groups will be marginalised and excluded, and women seeking termination ­ which is their legal right ­ will be denied the support that a familiar GP can offer.

In exchange they will receive non-evidence-based religious management.

Maybe Dr Hardie should develop a career as both GP and preacher, but not practise the two simultaneously.

Dr Annette Steele

London NW6

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