BMA guidance

Ethics toolkit for medical students

This toolkit gives medical students an introduction to common ethical problems they may encounter and practical ways of thinking to help solve issues.
Location: England Wales Northern Ireland
Audience: Medical students
Updated: Friday 1 May 2020
Justice scales article illustration

What you'll get from this guide

  • The toolkit provides advice on different ethical issues including medical electives and working with senior colleagues.
  • It also provides advice on more traditional topics such as consent and confidentiality.
  • The toolkit refers to any relevant legal provisions as these are a vital aspect of practical decision-making.​​


How to use this guide

Good judgement in ethical matters develops over the course of a professional lifetime, and students and junior doctors have sources of excellent detailed guidance and the support of senior colleagues.

This toolkit is not designed as a substitute. Nor does it seek to be comprehensive. Rather it aims to provide brief, easily accessible signposts to help you around the major areas of ethical concern. It also provides what we hope are a few intriguing hints as to how you can begin to think ethically for yourself.