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J R Soc Med. 2002 March; 95(3): 163.
PMCID: PMC1279498

Revalidation of the retired

Professor Vickers1 is to be congratulated on drawing our attention to the GMC's plans to stamp out the growing threat we retired doctors pose to ourselves and our families and friends by the reckless prescription of lethal drugs. It is not only the recipients of these murderous scrips who stand to benefit from this campaign. In a perverse way, so will retired doctors. Well into our second gin and tonic, no longer will we have to respond to the stirrings of conscience as dawns the hideous realization that we are the only doctor on the aeroplane. For we are to be officially absolved from the weighty responsibilities of administering intramuscular adrenaline, intravenous diamorphine, intramuscular glucagon or nebulized salbutamol. The GMC has no apparent objection to retired doctors carrying out the odd tracheostomy on themselves or their loved ones, but even a tension pneumothorax in mid-air is no longer our concern. Which of us can honestly claim that surgery using a wire coat-hanger and a bottle of brandy is within our competence? Thanks to the GMC, the only necessary action will be to restore equanimity by urgent replenishment of the gin and tonic.


1. Vickers MD. Revalidation of the retired: bad faith and a worse decision. JRSM 2002;95: 46-7 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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