RCGP urges Sultan of Brunei to revoke 'abhorrent' sanctions or lose College honour

Publication date: 12 April 2019

RCGP Chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard has written directly to the Sultan of Brunei calling on him to revoke the 'abhorrent' sanctions in his country - or have his College honour withdrawn.

The Sultan was awarded a 'Companion of the College' honour in 2013 in recognition of his support of the RCGP's work to provide primary healthcare in Brunei.

But in her letter, Prof Stokes Lampard says that the latest developments in Brunei 'contravene our values and everything that the College stands for'.

"Laws that persecute and punish individuals on grounds of their sexuality, and which carry sentences such as flogging and death by stoning, are completely contrary to these principles and will create an environment that is inimical to the comprehensive provision of safe, person centred, patient care for all. For these reasons, we oppose such measures in the strongest possible terms," she says.

"We are a diverse and inclusive international organisation that is proud of its strong LGBTQ+ community of doctors and staff. Promoting equality and valuing diversity are central to the professional values of general practice and to the RCGP’s work to encourage, foster and maintain the highest possible standards of patient care."

She continues: "When the College bestowed the honour of Companion of the College in 2013, these laws were not in place and we acted in good faith in recognition of your Government's commendable commitment to developing primary care in your country.

"Latest developments have jeopardised this good work and we implore you to revoke these measures as a matter of urgency, or the College will be forced to act on the recommendation of our Fellowship and Awards Committee to rescind our honour to you."

The College's Trustee Board will be holding an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday 17 April to discuss this.

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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