GP Dr Iain Kerr has spoken openly for the first time about supplying an elderly couple with sleeping tablets so they could kill themselves at the same time.
He also admitted telling another pensioner how many anti-depressants he needed to swallow to end his life and visiting the patient while the overdose took effect.
Dr Kerr, who worked in Williamwood Medical Centre in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, before he retired in 2011, has decided to discuss the cases to inform the debate about assisted suicide.
He wants voters to consider their position on the issue as MSP Margo MacDonald prepares to bring a new Bill to the Scottish Parl-iament which would legalise the practice.
The 66-year-old GP has already been before a General Medical Council hearing, after admitting prescribing sleeping tablets for a patient who wished to have a means of suicide at her disposal – although she ultimately threw the drugs away. He was also interviewed by the procurator fiscal over another case.
Dr Kerr has in the past been interviewed by the procurator-fiscal about the deaths of the other patients, but has not discussed the details in public before.
Describing the indivi-dual circumstances in each case, he said: "On the occasions on which I took these actions I was convinced that they were in the best inter-ests of the patient."
He described how the couple, in their eighties, "asked for something they could take in an overdose which would lead to their suicide".
Dr Kerr said: "I said I wanted them to tell their daughter what was going on and if she had no strenuous object-ions then I would give them the prescription."