The Milgram experiments of the 1960s are a terrifying example of how willingly people follow the orders of a respected authority figure, explain Daniel Sokol and Deborah Bowman (http://student.bmj.com/issues/09/04/life/136.php). In their fourth and final article on ethical dilemmas they look at hierarchy and power in medicine. A consultant describes being on a ward round as a medical student and seeing a pregnant 14 year old girl being denied a termination. The doctor in charge thought she should be taught a lesson, and his word was final. This sort of absolute rule is rare now, but hospital is still a place where orders are expected to be followed. When was the last time you did something you were told to do but didn’t agree with? And what did you do?
Rape is a medical emergency, and victims should be treated within 72 hours, reports Aditi Das in this month’s news (http://student.bmj.com/issues/09/04/news/128.php).