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Pembrey v General Medical Council [2003] UKPC 60

Doctor’s appeal from erasure of his name from medical register for serious professional misconduct - Doctor failed to follow appropriate consent procedure - Doctor failed to consider properly whether hysterectomies in best interests of two mentally incapacitated patients - Finding of professional misconduct stood

26 September 2003

The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) of the General Medical Council decided that the appellant doctor’s (P) name should be erased from the register for serious professional misconduct. The misconduct was found to have occurred in relation to seven patients, but P challenged the PCC’s finding in relation to three of those patients. In the course of a sterilisation operation for one patient (C), P had decided that a remedial procedure was necessary, namely, the insertion of an inter-uterine contraceptive device. The procedure resulted in a perforation of the uterus wall, which led to complications that necessitated a hysterectomy. The other two patients ( G and H) suffered from severe mental incapacity. P decided, on the basis of a brief outpatient consultation in each case, to carry out hysterectomies on both patients. He obtained the consent of G and G’s mother, and H’s carer. The PCC found that P’s treatment of G and H was irresponsible and inappropriate because he faile...

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