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Most GPs would not have blown the whistle on Harold Shipman if they had been countersigning his cremation forms.

Solicitors representing four GPs facing GMC misconduct charges this week for not raising questions about Shipman said early findings of a survey of GPs showed most would have acted in the same way.

RadcliffesLeBrasseur asked GPs to complete the questionnaire to help bolster their defence.

More than 80 have so far done so.

Partner Sarah Woodwark said early results showed policies were 'patchy' across the country, but the majority of GPs did not make additional enquiries relating to counter-signing forms.

GPs have accused the GMC of scapegoating the Hyde doctors by bringing misconduct charges.

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