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Friday 28th October 2016

Retired GP investigated

14th March 2013

The case of a retired Scottish family doctor who has admitted helping patients to die is being examined by police officers.


Prosecutors initially decided it was not in the public interest to take action against Dr Iain Kerr from Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, who said he prescribed medicines to three people who felt their lives had become intolerable.

But the Crown Office has now instructed police to make inquiries into whether there is any new evidence available, after the matter was discussed in the media.

Dr Kerr, who retired two years ago, was found guilty of misconduct by the General Medical Council and suspended from practising medicine for six months in 2008 for giving sleeping pills to a suicidal patient.

He said that over his career he had prescribed medicines to three people who were considering ending their lives.

“These were people who I thought had mental capacity, who had looked at the options, who had decided what was the best course of action for them and come to this conclusion,” he said.

While acknowledging what he had done had been illegal he said on each occasion it had involved a lot of discussion and was not a course of action taken lightly.

The admission from Dr Kerr comes as independent Lothian MSP Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s diseases, is working to put another bill before the Scottish Parliament to allow assisted suicide.


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