• Thomas Kelly

Medical Interview Ethics - What will you do? (Physician Assisted Suicide, Mental Health)

A very popular and wide-ranging topic, medical ethics is based around the four pillars.

Autonomy, Beneficence, Non-Maleficence and Justice.

These four topics form the guidelines for how a medical person should act. We have some of our medical ethics theory available in our free medical interview atlas, you can join here, if you haven't already.

For a particular station, they may ask you about some specific examples or your what the pillars mean to you or a real world example in which you have to apply the principles.

For example,

What would you do when a Jehovah’s Witness is dying in labor and requires a blood transfusion?

You need to appreciate the ethics involved in keeping the child alive, the mother alive and then the ethics of the religion itself. Try to consider various timelines and stakeholders, always your own position and feelings. Complex examples like these can be presented and you need to start thinking about them now, to avoid a nasty surprise.

Medical ethics also concerns itself with handling moral problems arising out of the care of patients; These situations are not black and white, pun intended, and there isn’t usually a specific right answer which makes them quite complex when analyzing. So don’t look for the perfect answer to a situation.

Often clinical decisions must consider more than just the patient's medical condition. Externalities must be considered and how people will live with the decisions made in a medical environment.

Ethical problems that have arisen publicly may also been asked in interviews. In recent times, the mental health of the medical workforce is widely discussed, other issues such as bullying, harassment and violence are also omnipresent.

In particular, we want our students to consider Physician Assisted Suicide, as there is currently a push in Victoria to legislate rules around its implementation.

There is a station waiting to be created,

How Do You Feel About Physician Assisted Suicide?

It will be a difficult and personal station to discuss, so it is important to reflect on the pillars and the conflicts you have. There is a great ABC article you can read about the topic.

Sometimes the questions will be even more controversial. A few years ago, students were even asked to comment on the White Australia Policy and its impact. These questions come up from time to time, so it is essential to be well versed in ethical problems past, present and future.

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