Can You Spot A Genuine Answer From A Fake One Created By AI?

Published on: 15 Jun 2023

IMG Applications for Specialty Training

Author: Dr Ellie Mein, medico-legal adviser, Medical Defence Union (MDU)

Part of the appeal of AI tools is the ability to generate persuasive and convincing sounding text, however, some answers may end up being incorrect (or illogical) when reviewed by an expert in the subject matter. AI may also fail to consider the relevant UK law or guidelines.  

To demonstrate the dangers of using AI to help with coursework and exams, the  Medical Defence Union (MDU) used AI to generate answers to some common medico-legal questions. See if you can spot the genuine answer from an MDU expert and those provided by an AI system. We have abridged the full answers. 


  1. Can I remove a patient from my practice list because they’ve complained?

Removing a patient from your list solely because they have made a complaint about the service you provided would likely be considered unethical and may contravene the principles of your professional code of conduct.

If a patient has raised concerns or made a complaint, it's important to take their feedback seriously and to take appropriate action to address the issue. This could involve apologising, providing additional information or support, or making changes to the way you provide care in the future.


  1. Should I disclose records of a deceased patient to their daughter?

The disclosure of medical records of a deceased patient is governed by privacy laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 in the UK.

In general, medical records of a deceased patient are considered personal data and can only be disclosed with the explicit consent of the person who was responsible for the patient's care or the executor of the patient's estate.

If the daughter of the deceased patient is the executor of the estate, then she may be entitled to access the medical records of her deceased parent. If she is not the executor, she may still be able to access the records if she has written consent from the executor or has the authorisation of the court.


  1. Who is responsible for obtaining consent?

The doctor undertaking an investigation or providing treatment should usually talk to the patient, but may decide to delegate part of the decision-making process to someone in the healthcare team who is suitably trained and competent.

The doctor must ensure the person they delegate to has sufficient knowledge of the intervention and its associated benefits and harms, as well as alternative options for treatment and care. They must also possess the skills to have a dialogue with the patient, in accordance with the GMC's guidance on consent.

If part of the decision-making process has been delegated, the treating doctor is still responsible for making sure the patient has been given the information they need to make a decision, has had time and support to consider it, and has given their consent before treatment or care is provided. The doctor should also check the patient has a realistic expectation of the outcome.


  1. What should I do if parents disagree about their child's treatment?

In theory, consent may be given by one person with parental responsibility – but when there is a dispute between parents and the treatment is not required in an emergency, it is normally appropriate to ask the parents to resolve their disagreement.

For some types of treatment, agreement is required between those with parental responsibility. Examples include immunisation and male circumcision for religious reasons.

If a dispute cannot be resolved informally, you should seek legal advice about whether to apply for a court ruling.


Scroll down for the correct answers. 


Quick quiz answers: Can you spot the genuine article from the fake?  


  1. Can I remove a patient from my practice list because they’ve complained?

AI generated – generally accurate although a subject expert might expect you to quote from the relevant GMC guidance.


  1. Should I disclose records of a deceased patient to their daughter?

AI generated – while generally accurate, this answer quotes incorrect legislation and refers to the consent of the clinician, which is not relevant. The relevant law is the Access to Health Records Act 1990.  


  1.  Who is responsible for obtaining consent?

FAQ from MDU website.


  1. What should I do if parents disagree about their child's treatment?

FAQ from MDU website.


While AI will doubtless have an increasing role in healthcare and medical education, it’s important to emphasise the need to use it ethically. Remember that using it to generate ideas or content for your own coursework or publications could expose you to allegations of plagiarism, which is likely to put your future career at risk.

Read more about how to avoid allegations of plagiarism in medical coursework and exams.