Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2006] All ER (D) 311 (Oct)
Court: Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)

Goldring J

Representation Fiona Neale (instructed by Medical Defence Union Services Ltd) for the doctor.
  Catherine Callaghan (instructed by the General Medical Council) for the GMC.
Judgment Dates: 26 October 2006


Medical practitioner - Professional misconduct - Disciplinary proceedings - Fitness to practise - General practitioner using practice computers to view pornographic web images - Panel finding doctor's fitness to practise impaired - Whether panel entitled to have regard to issues of public interest in relation to fitness to practise - Whether suspension an appropriate sanction.

The Case

Where the appellant doctor used two practice computers to view pornographic web images on some eight occasions, the fitness to practise panel had been entitled to have regard to the public interest in the wider sense in determining that the doctor's fitness to practise had been impaired. The effect of those considerations was that if in accessing pornographic websites it was shown that the public's trust in a medical practitioner was not justified, he should not be permitted to continue in unrestricted practice for as long as that was so. Further, the panel had been entitled to suspend the doctor for a period of six months.

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