July 24, 2008

Doctor Was ‘Irresponsible’ Over Suicide OAP

A DOCTOR who admitted prescribing sleeping tablets to enable a pensioner to end her life has been branded irresponsible.

The General Medical Council found Dr Iain Kerr, from Newton Mearns, brought the medical profession into disrepute by giving the drug sodium amytal to the retired businesswoman after she had told him she had considered killing herself.

They also described his prescription of sodium amytal to three others as not in his patients' best interests.

The GMC, which has the power to strike doctors from the medical register, will now decide what action to take against the GP, who has practised for 30 years, as reported in later editions of last night's Evening Times.

Dr Kerr gave the sleeping tablets to the pensioner, known as Patient A, in 1998.

She went on to overdose on different drugs - which had also been prescribed by Dr Kerr, in 2005 - aged 87.

Less than a fortnight before her successful suicide attempt, the hearing was told Patient A had tried to end her life using Temazepam but failed.

Dr Kerr was called to her house at the time, and the GMC said yesterday he was irresponsible for not referring her to hospital .

Panel chairman John Donnelly, sitting in Manchester, also said the GP's decision to give her "a substantial amount" of Temazepam some days after that overdose was "illogical".

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

(c) 2008 Evening Times; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.