Analysis Ethical debate

Students whose behaviour causes concern: Role of universities

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 29 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2884
  1. Jon Cohen, dean
  1. 1Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9PX
  1. j.cohen{at}

    What should you do when you see a fellow student behaving inappropriately? After a group of students wrote to the BMJ about their experience during an elective (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2874), we sought the opinions of an ethicist (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2882), a dean, a GMC representative (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2876), and a lecturer from an African university (doi:10.1136/bmj.a2875)

    The behaviour of the student described in this report is clearly unacceptable and worrying. If this was one of our students I would want to know and I would take urgent steps to understand exactly what had been happening and then either provide help through student support mechanisms or, if necessary, invoke fitness to practise procedures. Equally, had the students faced with this difficulty been from our school, I hope that …

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