On the 6th July 2021, the VMS will be hosting their first ever student run ethical case session. For those of you that have attended the study guide sessions, the format will be almost identical and is aiming to mimic the Problem Based Learning style that is highly likely that you will meet in medical/veterinary/dentistry school.

At the bottom of this post are the SVMS and Veterinary cases for this month. JVMS and Dentists will be run during the meeting only. It is your task to go through these cases and make yourself familiar with them. We will be going through the questions in the session and having a talk about your thoughts and queries.

We look forward to seeing you there!

SVMS case

15-year-old Ashley had been experiencing migraines for two years. After collapsing and being rushed to hospital, a biopsy was performed revealing a brain tumour. He required radiotherapy once a day, five days a week for six weeks on top of daily chemotherapy. His radiotherapy treatment involved wearing a mask made from plaster of paris, bolted to the table to keep his head still – the process of which caused Ashley distress. Alongside his fear of needles, Ashley struggled with the treatment and this was only added to by the nausea he would regularly experience. By the end of the third week of treatment he had decided he could no longer continue and became very depressed. Medical Professionals decided he did not have the capacity to refuse treatment at that time and was convinced to continue. Once the course of treatment was over a brain scan brought the incredible news that Ashley’s tumour was gone.

Ashley lived in fear of relapse and these fears were made reality when months later, the migraine returned. The scan revealed he had relapsed and the tumour was back. Treatment would be more intense than before and would require him to stay in hospital for 6 months – the chance of him reaching remission again had dropped from 95% to 50%. Ashley expressed his distress and made it clear he did want to go ahead with treatment, despite his doctors’ and mother’s wishes for him to proceed. In the end no treatment was given and he passed away three weeks later.

  1. What is capacity?
  2. In his second round of treatment, did Ashley have the capacity to refuse treatment?
  3. What is Gillicks Competency? Does it allow someone to refuse treatment?
  4. What would be the most important factors for Ashley’s doctors’ to consider when deciding whether to proceed with treatment?
  5. How important are the views of Ashley’s mother when it comes to making the decision on whether to proceed with treatment?
  6. What effect do you think treatment would have on Ashley’s welfare?
  7. What would likely happen if Ashley’s case was taken to court? Can you find an example of where this has happened before?
  8. What role does autonomy play in this case?
  9. What role does justice play in this case?
  10. What role does beneficence play in this case?
  11. What role does non-maleficence play in this case?

Veterinary case

A dog owner has had her 3-year-old dog, Meg, since she was 8 weeks old. The owner has been struggling as Meg has been displaying a series of undesirable behaviours that have made caring for her challenging. The owner feels she is unable to cope with these behaviours and so is considering rehoming Meg.

  1. What are some undesirable behaviours in dogs? How about in other species?
  2. Are there any other options for Meg and her owner, instead of rehoming, that may help to resolve these issues?
  3. Factors other than lack of training can result in undesirable behaviours. Research 3.
  4. How can undesirable behaviours be prevented?

Transfer to Medicine Routes

A guide to transfer routes into medicine from a related undergraduate degree.  The transfer can occur in some universities at some time between the first and third year (or fourth year if taking a sandwich course), but it can also occur at the point of completion and graduating from the original degree.

Medical, Dental, Veterinary Options For BTEC Students

It is the start of another academic year, another cycle of UCAS applications with teachers and careers leaders supporting their medical, dental, and veterinary students apply to university!  A frequent question I get asked is about BTEC requirements for these careers, so I wanted to prepare a one stop shop for all the information, so your BTEC students can be well informed of the requirements!