Doc reveals truth

A FORMER Clarkston doctor has admitted aiding patients in their bid to end their own lives.

Dr Iain Kerr, formerly of Clarkston’s Williamwood Medical centre in Clarkston said he prescribed medicines to a trio of patients who believed their illnesses had made their lives insufferable.

The 66-year-old said: “The people involved felt that life had become intolerable for them for one reason or another.

“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”.

Although the doctor who retired two-years-ago was never prosecuted, he 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.

Then, the GMC described his actions as “inappropriate, irresponsible, liable to bring the profession into disrepute and not in your patient’s best interest”.

During a recent radio interview, the doctor added: “I insisted that the people involved should contact their relatives and if the relatives were in agreement with this then I would carry out my part in the agreement

“The cases were all reported to the procurator fiscal and in each case the fiscal decided to take no action because it was not in the public interest for a prosecution to take place”.

His hearing found he prescribed a retired businesswoman, known as Patient A, with sodium amytal in 1998 “solely for the purpose of ending her life”.

The patient — an osteoporosis sufferer — feared becoming a burden upon her family.

The panel claimed the doctor showed poor clinical management after she took an overdose of Temazepam in December 2005.

Patient A killed herself later that month, aged 87, using a cocktail of Temazepam, antihistamines and painkillers.

The retired doctor supports independent MSP Margo Macdonald’s campaign for a bill to allow assisted suicide.