Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2008] All ER (D) 193 (Jun)
Court: Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court
Judge:

Sir George Newman sitting as a High Court judge

Representation Alan Jenkins (instructed by Radcliffes Le Brasseur) for the appellant.
  Alison Foster QC (instructed by the General Medical Council) for the General Medical Council.
Judgment Dates: 16 June 2008

Catchwords

Medical practitioner - Fitness to practice - Not acting in best interests of patient - Meaning of 'patient' - Doctor prescribing drugs to journalists investigating his conduct - Whether doctor not acting in best interests of 'patients' - Whether journalists 'patients'.

The Case

The intention and purpose of a person who approached a doctor for advice or medication was not determinative of the relationship that was established, rather it was the character of the doctor's actions in responding to such an approach. Any motive of the part of the approaching party was peripheral. For the purposes of allegations that a doctor had not acted in the best interests of patients in relation to prescribing drugs, the fact that two of those 'patients' were journalists who had approached the appellant doctor in the course of an investigation into his conduct did not stop them from being 'patients'. In all the circumstances, there was no basis for the court interfering with the sanction of nine months' suspension that had been imposed.

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