Liverpool-based GP, Dr Arun Singhal told a patient who was threatening to kill herself to “go and jolly well do it now” before pointing out that she could look up how to kill herself on the Internet.
These actions were found by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) to amount to serious misconduct. Dr Singhal did not attend the tribunal and was unaware that the conversation he had with his patient had been recorded on her mobile phone.
During the tribunal, the MPTS heard that in May 2011 the woman, referred to as patient A, expressed a desire to kill herself to Dr Singhal and said her antidepressant medication was not helping her.
Back in December 2011 she had asked Dr Singhal for a sick note as she was nervous and frightened to give evidence as a witness in a rape trial. When a few months later in May the patient told her doctor that she felt like killing herself, Dr Singhal told her,
“You can go and jolly well do it now.”
He then said, “If you don’t know how to do it, it’s on the Internet how to do it.”
Eileen Carr, MPTS panel chair said that although the medical treatment of patient A had not come into question, the way Dr Singhal spoke to his patient who had a history of mental health issues were both unacceptable and inappropriate.
“The panel finds his conduct fell well below the standards expected of a medical practitioner and is satisfied that his behaviour amounts to serious misconduct.”
Apparently the panel were disappointed that it had not heard from Dr Singhal during the proceedings, showing no evidence of an apology or remediation.