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GMC updates web-tool to address GP legal concerns

By Laura Passi

The General Medical Council has released additional support for doctors struggling to apply their Good Medical Practice guidance over in 'real-life' situations.

The GMC has added real life scenarios to the Good Medical Practice in Action website, which will allow doctors and patients to explore different options available to them when facing a dilemma about end-of-life care or patient confidentiality.

Each scenario is interactive; doctors or patients can follow a storyline and then make a choice about what should happen next. Then the story explains what would happen in reality and why, by referring to relevant GMC guidelines.

Ros Levenson, GMC council member said: 'Doctors have told us that Good Medical Practice in Action helps them to understand our guidance, and is particularly useful when new guidance is launched.'

Two of the scenarios aim to clarify new guidance, which came into practice in July, about end of life care of patients. For example, resolving family disputes over the care of an elderly relative.

Another scenario covers the breaching of patient confidentiality, following results from an online BMJ poll taken by 326 doctors, which sited this as the ethical dilemma that worried them the most.

The website, launched in 2008, now presents 60 real-life scenarios.

The real life scenarios for patient confidentiality and end of life care can be read here. Read the interactive case-studies

End-of-life-care: Withdrawing a feeding tube

End-of-life care: Urgent surgery needed

End of life care: Family disagreement

Patient confidentiality: Positive HIV test

Patient confidentiality: Domestic violence

Patient confidentiality: Disclosure of information to the police

Interactive case studies Interactive case studies