UK: Doctor launches legal challenge over GMC’s failure to investigate fellow medic’s covid vaccine claims

The BMJ is reporting that A doctor has launched a judicial review against the General Medical Council (GMC) over the regulator’s refusal to investigate another doctor’s alleged misleading claims about covid vaccines.

Matt Kneale, a junior doctor, has previously complained to the GMC about the conduct of Aseem Malhotra, who has more than 550?000 followers on Twitter and has been posting claims since 2022 that vaccines against covid-19 are linked to cardiac illness and death. However, Kneale was told that the GMC would not be investigating Malhotra because his statements were not sufficiently “egregious” to merit action and he had a right to “freedom of speech.” Kneale’s appeal against this decision in 2023 was turned down.

He has now filed a claim with the High Court, arguing that the GMC should consider not only whether a doctor’s behaviour could harm individual patients but also whether their actions undermined public trust in medicine. He said that this was particularly important when examining statements relating to vaccines, where doctors with a high profile on social media could potentially cause great harm.

A judge will review the papers and decide whether to let the judicial review proceed to a final hearing.

Read more at the BMJ