General Medical Council: Raj Persaud versus Gerry McCann

Raj Persaud struck off for plagiarism

Opinion piece by Doctor J regarding the difference in treatment between Raj Persaud and the McCanns

Being a doctor is being part of a club, that means ordinary rules do not apply. Being a doctor also gives you access to drugs and knowledge not available to "ordinary" people.

Being a doctor means you stick together through thick and thin, that your first loyalty is to your "profession". The rules and powers by which the GMC works, come from the Medical Act and basically, that means the GMC makes their own rules.

In 2006 it abolished elections to the Council, it is now a Government appointed body. There is one rule for doctors the GMC "likes", for example the McCanns, who are able to carry on practising, regardless of whether they are Portugese suspects or not.

There is another rule for doctors the GMC doesn't like, for example, Raj Persaud, who was the public face of psychiatry, but did not reference or attribute correctly one or two things he "wrote". The attack on him was orchestrated by the Scientologists, who have their own views on psychiatry.

I agree that what he did was wrong, but it was hardly related to the way he managed his patients. It was a matter for the publishers, not the GMC. Again that is just an opinion.

If you are coloured you are much more likely to be taken before the GMC, than if you are white, regardless of your standard of medical practice.

BBC News: GMC racism cannot be ruled out
GMC: Public confidence is damaged
GMC promises radical reform
Doctors lash 'out of touch' GMC
GMC on the ropes
GMC loses backing of doctors
Doctors struck off by General Medical Council
Doctor who killed is free to work

McCanns not struck off, or even suspended, despite being suspects in their daughter's death and fraudulently obtaining millions of pounds from the general public

"I cannot think about anything else at the moment other than finding Madeleine. I do not know if I would be safe to go back and practise as a doctor at the moment."

Gerry McCann, 11 June 2007