The Cull, or Covid 19 Decision Support Tool, advocated by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

The request was successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

This relates to a document provided by NICE named the Covid 19 Decision Support Tool, which outlines three criteria for scoring patients with Covid 19 to determine whether they should be admitted to intensive care. In essence, it is giving doctors a license to kill and appears to be wholly unlawful. It has been the subject of an FOI request to NICE which can be viewed here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

1)Has the GMC been given a copy of this document?

2) Has the GMC provided a response to NICE, given the legal consequences for doctors? Please provide a copy of any response to NICE by the GMC.

3) Has the GMC contacted doctors to advise on the legal position they have to consider when operating these instructions?

4) Has the GMC sought a legal opinion on the law surrounding these instructions? Please provide a copy of this.

5) Since this amounts to a license to kill and euthanasia is a criminal offence in the UK, what is the advice of the GMC in relation to this?

Yours faithfully,

Barbara Jones

FOI, General Medical Council

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FOI, General Medical Council

Dear Ms Jones,

 

Your information request – IR1-2673700159

Thank you for your email dated 18 April, in which you ask for information
in relation to the document provided by NICE named the Covid 19 Decision
Support Tool, which outlines three criteria for scoring patients with
Covid 19 to determine whether they should be admitted to intensive care.

 

How we will consider your request

We’re going to consider your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives us 20 working days to respond, but we’ll come
back to you as soon as we can.

 

Who to contact

Mark Ellen will be handling your request. If you have any questions you
can contact him via email at [1][email address].

 

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic outbreak we are currently operating at
reduced capacity. It may therefore take us longer to respond to your
request. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lauren Barrowcliffe
Information Access Team Assistant

 

[2][email address]

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

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Mark Ellen (0161 923 6347), General Medical Council

Dear Ms Jones

 

Reference IR1-2673700159

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 18 April 2020. 

 

I should explain that the document you refer to in your e-mail is not
actually owned by NICE. Notwithstanding that, the answers to your first 4
questions are as follows: 

 

 

1)Has the GMC been given a copy of this document?

 

No

 

 

2) Has the GMC provided a response to NICE, given the legal consequences
for doctors? Please provide a copy of any response to NICE by the GMC.

 

No (but as noted above, it is not owned by NICE)

 

 

3) Has the GMC contacted doctors to advise on the legal position they have
to consider when operating these instructions?

 

No

 

4) Has the GMC sought a legal opinion on the law surrounding these
instructions? Please provide a copy of this.

 

No, we have not sought a legal opinion

 

At Q5. You ask for advice. This part of your request would not fall under
the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. These provisions relate
to information held, as opposed to a public authority providing advice.

However, outside the FOI provisions, I can advise you as follows regarding
your question:

On our ethical hub page about [1]Coronavirus: your frequently asked
questions, we recognise that doctors will be making clinical decisions in
challenging and rapidly changing circumstances and may have to make
decisions about prioritising access to treatment. We are clear that
doctors need to provide the best service possible within the resource
available and where more individuals have life-threatening conditions than
can be treated at once, we advise doctors of the relevant considerations.

 

We advise doctors to be confident that decisions are based on clinical
need and the likely effectiveness of treatments, and don’t unfairly
discriminate against particular groups. Please see our hub page for
further details on how doctors should [2]make decisions about prioritising
access to treatment.

 

The materials on our ethical hub page restate the principles from our core
piece of guidance, [3]Good medical practice, where we are clear that
doctors must give priority to patients on the basis of their clinical
need, if these decisions are within their power (see paragraph 56).
Doctors must not unfairly discriminate against patients or colleagues by
allowing their personal views to affect their professional relationships
or the treatment they provide. (see paragraph 59).

 

I hope that this information is of some help to you. 

 

 

Kind regards

Mark Ellen

 

 

Mark Ellen

Information Access Team

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester  M3 3AW

Direct Line: 0161 923 6347

 

 

 

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