This site is intended for health professionals only

Police to probe struck-off GP

By Gareth Iacobucci

Police are considering whether to reopen an inquiry into a GP struck off by the General Medical Council for giving excessive morphine to 18 dying patients, after he admitted hastening the deaths of patients.

Dr Howard Martin, who was stuck off by the GMC last week for professional misconduct, was cleared of murdering three patients in 2005.

But criminal proceedings against Dr Martin could now be reopened, after he admitted in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that he hastened the deaths of two people in his care.

The former GP told the paper he acted out of ‘Christian compassion', but Durham Police said it would investigate whether there are ‘any new grounds on which to reopen the investigation' following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service.

A GMC disciplinary panel found Dr Martin had not acted negligently, but said he had ‘violated the rights of the terminally ill'.

The Council ruled that the retired 75-year-old should be struck off for ‘completely unacceptable' treatment of some patients, and said Dr Martin had acted on the ‘scantiest of evidence' of unbearable pain.

Dr Martin told the Telegraph he accepted that his confession put him at risk of spending the rest of his life in prison if police reopened his case, but insisted that his ‘conscience is clear'.