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4.2 Treat patients and colleagues fairly and without discrimination

In line with GMC guidance on the duties of doctors in the workplace, surgeons must promote an environment which is free from unfair discrimination bearing in mind that colleagues and patients come from diverse backgrounds. The following principles are laid out in Good Medical Practice and associated GMC guidance but are of particular relevance to surgeons. You should:

  • Ensure that your conduct towards patients and colleagues is fair, culturally sensitive and non-discriminatory.
  • Ensure that decisions about patient treatment are based on clinical need and the likely effectiveness of treatment and not on lifestyle choices and social, managerial or financial factors that may introduce discriminatory access to care.
  • End the relationship with a patient only when the surgeon–patient relationship has irrevocably broken down and the interests of the patient are best served by ending the current relationship and ensuring an appropriate handover to another doctor for continuing care.

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