Ethics & law
My housemate was high when undertaking a procedure
Marika Davies, a medicolegal adviser, gives advice on some common ethical dilemmas faced by medical students
Some people might say that what students do in their spare time is their own business. But medical students are not the same as other students: the General Medical Council (GMC) points out that they have certain privileges and responsibilities that are different from those of students on other courses. It is difficult to think of a better example of this than when a patient allows their body to be used by a student to learn a procedure. Patients place their trust in those caring for them, and in return they must be treated with respect and dignity.
Carrying out a procedure on a patient while under the influence of drugs clearly puts that patient at risk of harm. Your friend may not have intended this to happen, and the incident may have been alarming enough to prompt her to change her behaviour. She may have confided in you as