Medic Law - Supporting Fairness

Medic Law: Supporting Fairness


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Medical Practitioners Tribunal accepts expert psychologist evidence and clears doctor of GMC’s allegation of dishonesty


In a significant decision, MPTS’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal has cleared a doctor of dishonesty having accepted the evidence of an expert in cognitive neuroscience. Based on the expert’s evidence the Tribunal found that the doctor had not been dishonest when he provided an inaccurate account of events, after finding himself under immense pressure to recall events of which he had very little recollection, the pressure on him resulted in unwitting ‘false memory’ and ‘reconstruction’.

Details … .


What the expert said …

Expert evidence on commission errors in human memory: Recall of facts and personal episodes is often inaccurate. Normal people not only fail to recall or recognise earlier experiences, things and facts (omission errors) but also recall and recognise experiences, things and facts that they have never encountered so these memories are false (commission errors). Commission errors vary between involving only a few unimportant, minor details to involving many important and major details that may have serious consequences for a perpetrator or innocent victim.

Relevance to this case … .