City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Conference: End of Life Treatment and Care

By Editor - Posted on 17 May 2009

Event details
Telephone (info): 
020 7189 5454

Carers, patients and clinicians in Edinburgh are to give the General Medical Council (GMC)
their views on new guidelines for doctors treating patients at the end of their

The event, to be held on Tuesday 19 May at the GMC in
Edinburgh is part of a UK wide roadshow to ensure that everyone from doctors to
community groups has a chance to have their say on the GMC's draft guidance,
End of life treatment and care: good
practice in decision making
before it is issued to Edinburgh's
4,059 registered doctors* next year.

The event will draw together patient groups, hospice staff
and doctors, with separate workshops for Cantonese and Punjabi speaking carers. Topics for debate include:

  • providing support to patients,
    carers and their family
  • managing pain and symptoms
  • addressing the needs of carers
    from Edinburgh's
    black and minority ethnic community
  • dealing with advance requests
    for, and refusals of, treatment.

Anyone can have their say on the consultation. Answer
questions online at:

Jane O'Brien GMC Assistant Director of Standards and
Fitness to Practise said:

"We want to encourage everyone to give the GMC their
views on this difficult subject which most of us will have to face at some
point in our lives, whether as a patient, carer or health professional. We are holding
meetings across the UK
to ensure that everyone has a chance to have their say on the guidance.

"Every day, patients and carers all over Scotland face
making difficult decisions with their doctors about end of life care. Our
guidance supports doctors by setting out the ethical and legal principles that
should underpin practice in this area and lets patients know what they can
expect from their doctor."

Dr David Oxenham from the Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh said:

"The new guidance is a step forward providing greater
clarity for doctors about what is expected of them in this sensitive area of
practice. The main message is that the GMC is asking doctors to give greater
weight to patients' wishes in a more formal sense than it has done
before. Those patients who have strong feelings about how they want themselves
or their loved ones to be treated should expect those feelings to be

"For example, if a patient with capacity says that
they do not want to receive treatment then their doctor must respect their
decision. It is great news that these guidelines have been made clearer on this

A spokesperson for MECOPP in
Edinburgh (Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project) said:

"For people from minority
ethnic communities there may be additional concerns.  There may be a lack of
knowledge about what constitutes appropriate end of life care or professional
assumptions may be unwittingly made because staff are unaware of particular
cultural or religious/faith requirements. Many people regard doctors as having
higher levels of authority and therefore are not able to question them at the
very time when this is most required. Certain illnesses sometimes carry
additional stigma and are hard to explain to people without causing additional
levels of grief.

As an organisation, MECOPP welcomes the work of the GMC in
this very important area."

The guidance is expected to come into force in Spring 2010.

*This is the number of doctors whose registered GMC address
is in this area, it is not necessarily the number of doctors in active

For further information please contact the website

The General Medical Council registers doctors to practise
medicine in the UK.
Our purpose is summed up in the phrase: Regulating doctors, Ensuring Good
Medical Practice.

Edinburgh event details:

19th May 2009

10am to 12.45 pm

GMC Scotland

Holyrood Rd


The GMC is also holding events in Inverness on the 18 May
and in Glasgow
on 20 May.

GMC consultation:

The online consultation began on the 27 March 2009 and runs
until the

13 July 2009.

The consultation will be sent to over 1000 organisations and
individuals who are involved in end of life care or represent the views of the
profession, patients and those with long term conditions.

As part of the consultation process meetings will be held
across the UK
to ensure the views of traditionally hard to reach groups are incorporated into
the final version of the guidance.

A UK wide
consultative conference will be held in June in central London.