You are hereBlogs / dr-no's blog / Pax Pemberton

Pax Pemberton


Posted by Dr No on 22 April 2013

white_flag.jpgDr Max Pemberton – Apology

GMC Statement – For Immediate Release
22 Apr 2013

Earlier this morning, Count Rubin (not his real name) appeared on the Today programme opposite Dr Max Pemberton (not his real name), defending the General Medical Council’s decision to implement new guidance requiring doctors who use social media to reveal their identities.

By appearing alongside Dr Pemberton, and not challenging Dr Pemberton’s identity, Count Rubin gave the impression that the Council knew who the real Dr Pemberton was, had got his number, and furthermore the Council knew where he lived.

However, the Council would like to make it clear that it has absolutely no idea who the real Dr Pemberton is, what his number is, or where he lives. Any perception by the real Dr Pemberton that the Council knew who he was, and any perceived threat, actual or implied, felt by the real Dr Pemberton that the Council had his number and knew where he lived was wholly unintentional.

The Council further wishes to make it absolutely clear that, notwithstanding the new guidance, it expects all doctors at all times to exercise their professional judgement when deciding whether to reveal their identity or remain anonymous when using social media. Any suggestion, actual or implied, by the Council that the guidance was compulsory in all circumstances was misguided, fallacious, and wholly inappropriate.

The Council apologises unreservedly to Dr Max Pemberton (not his real name) for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by appearing to know who he was when in fact the Council has no idea who he really is.

Notes to editors:

1. Count Rubin (not his real name) is Chair of the General Medical Council, the independent regulator of the UK's 250,000 doctors.

2. Dr Max Pemberton (not his real name) is the pseudonym of one of those 250,000 doctors.

5 comments:

The wording of the official guidance is clear: "If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name"; and "serious or persistent failure to follow this guidance will put your registration at risk".

Any statements from the GMC that:

"wishes to make it absolutely clear that, notwithstanding the new guidance, it expects all doctors at all times to exercise their professional judgement when deciding whether to reveal their identity or remain anonymous when using social media. Any suggestion, actual or implied, by the Council that the guidance was compulsory in all circumstances was misguided, fallacious, and wholly inappropriate."

or on its Facebook page (yes, that's where it has supposedly clarified its guidance) are meaningless, as they do not have the status of the guidance.

I have raised this with GMC, who have made no attempt to justify the change to their guidance (from an original, perfectly reasonable form of words in the consultation draft), to explain what it is that the purpose of the change was, or what reason they have to believe that the revision will achieve its intended purpose. They have simply stated that they will not change the official guidance.

The guidance remains IMO - and in the opinion of various lawyers - incompatible with the ECHR; and as a regulatory body, GMC is required to act in accordance with ECHR, which makes a court case against them very likely IMO.

My apologies - I had not intended my post to be anonymous.

Came across this e-petition against the GMC's social media guidance -

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47642

Thanks again for including Columbus Metropoltian Library in your list of top websites. We’re thrilled to be included with some other amazing libraries. Thank you.
Discover More

I have raised this with GMC, who have made no attempt to justify the change to their guidance (from an original, perfectly reasonable form of words in the consultation draft), to explain what it is that the purpose of the change was, or what reason they have to believe that the revision will achieve its intended purpose.
bubblegum casting


Add a comment...

Will show as anonymous if no name added

If added, your name will be a link to the address you enter

If left blank, first few words of comment will be used

• Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li>
• Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically
• Lines and paragraphs break automatically
 

NOTE: Dr No's spam filter can be somewhat overzealous. If your comment has been wrongly rejected, Dr No apologises, and asks that you let him know (via Contact Form in side-bar). Many thanks.