THE Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over all registered doctors. Complaints and information received by the MMC are investigated and disciplinary inquiries will be held if there is evidence to substantiate the allegations.
Upon finding a doctor guilty of the complaint or information and after hearing his plea in mitigation, the MMC will impose punishment, which might include a reprimand, suspension from practice, or deregistration.
In exercising its disciplinary function, the MMC is guided by its Code of Professional Conduct (“the Code”), which prescribes minimum professional standards.
There are several provisions in the Code that protects patients’ rights. They include:
1. Neglect or disregard of professional responsibilities, e.g. doctor’s responsibility for standards of medical care; patients right to choice of doctor and care by qualified and registered doctors; protection of patients in medical research and from a doctor’s relationship with pharmaceutical and/or medical equipment industry.
2. Abuse of professional privileges and skills, e.g. protection of patients in drug prescription, certification, notification, and reports; protection for patients from abuse of trust or confidence by the doctor; and prohibition of personal relationships between doctor and patient.
3. Conduct derogatory to the reputation of the medical profession, e.g. respect for human life; incompetent practice.
4. Advertising, canvassing, and related professional offences, e.g. prohibition of advertising and canvassing.
The MMC’s code is supplemented by its document Duties of a Doctor, which comprises guidelines on Good Medical Practice and Confidentiality.
There are also guidelines on various aspects of medical practice, e.g. audio and visual recordings, clinical trials and biomedical research, conflict situations, credentialing for new procedures, dissemination of information, medical records and medical reports, organ transplantation, stem cell research, and treatment.
The MMC’s Code and its guidelines can be found in the its website at www.mmc.gov.my
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