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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - our advice for doctors

We recognise that this is a very difficult and worrying time for doctors. Our professional standards provide a framework for ethical decision making in a wide range of situations. They should be followed as far as practical in the circumstances. We're regularly updating our advice for doctors as the situation develops.    

Personal beliefs and medical practice

All patients must be treated with respect and not be unfairly discriminated against.

This guidance explores how you can balance your own personal beliefs with that of your patients. It explains what to do if you don't want to carry out a particular procedure because of your own beliefs.

And what to do if a patient is requesting or refusing a procedure because of their beliefs. The guidance also has specific advice on dealing with requests for male circumcision. It includes how to assess the best interests of the child and who you need consent from. 

This guidance came into effect 22 April 2013.  The legal annex was updated on 7 April 2020. 

Download the guidance

You can download the guidance in English or Welsh.

Personal beliefs and medical practice (English)
Personal beliefs and medical practice (Welsh)