GP banned over 'suicide' pills allowed to return

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A SCOTTISH GP who gave sleeping pills to a patient so she could end her life has had restrictions on his work lifted by medical watchdogs.

In July 2008, Dr Iain Kerr was suspended from practising medicine for six months by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The decision was made after the GMC heard that in 1998, he prescribed sodium amytal tablets to an 87-year-old patient who had osteoporosis after she told him she had considered suicide.

The patient did later kill herself, though she did not use the pills given to her by Dr Kerr.

In January last year Dr Kerr was allowed to return to practice, but with restrictions placed on his registration for 18 months, including a ban on the Glasgow doctor prescribing sleeping pills and sedatives.

Those restrictions were removed yesterday after the GMC's panel decided that Dr Kerr's fitness to practise was no longer impaired.

They heard evidence that Dr Kerr had complied with the conditions on his registration and that he was a "caring practitioner who is well thought of by your patients".

Dr Kerr told the panel he would now "refuse to countenance assisting a suicide" and not prescribe inappropriately outside the guidelines again.

The panel said: "You informed the panel that your views about assisted suicide have not changed but in practical terms you have changed your outlook and that, in future, you would not allow your views to influence your practice."