Medical School Interview · Dec. 12, 2018
Medical Ethics Interview Questions - Should the NHS Fund Fertility Treatment?
Getting medical ethics questions in your medical school interview is not uncommon. So, let’s imagine you are halfway around your MMI circuit and you get asked to answer the following question: Should the NHS fund fertility treatment? How would you go about answering this question as a future medical student/doctor? Well if you’re not quite sure yet, this blog will cover everything you need to know to help you give an informative and insightful answer.
In this blog, we are not going to focus too much on how to structure your answer to an ethical question as this is covered at our full day interview course and in another blog post on how to answer medical school interview ethical questions. However, just to recap having a beginning, a middle; discussing your four pillars of medical ethics and three C’s, and finally a summary section will help you to stay on track when answering more lengthy questions like this one.
- Pro-funding: Patients should be able to choose whether or not they want to start a family.
- Pro-funding: Funding the treatment would benefit the patient and give them a chance to have a family. Not allowing fertility treatment could be detrimental to the psychological welling of these patients. It may mean that they are unable to have a family at all.
- Anti-funding: It is often older women that undergo fertility treatment and they are more likely to suffer complications during pregnancy. In addition, there is a higher probability of foetal complications e.g. Down’s syndrome with increasing maternal age.
- Pro-funding: Without funding fertility treatment will only be available to those who are able to afford it as the private industry will continue to supply this treatment.
Many women may have been able to have a family at an earlier stage in life but have chosen to focus on their careers during this time. These women have contributed heavily to the economy through tax contributions and services and therefore arguably justice should reward.
- Anti-funding: There is a finite amount of funding within the NHS and this can be classified as an inappropriate use of resources. The probability of a successful outcome is not 100% and therefore money would be better spent on a different aspect of the NHS.
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Finally, it is time to give your opinion on the matter of funding fertility treatment. It really doesn’t matter which side you are on as long as you can justify your thought process and support your answer with arguments from your ethical pillars. Make sure you do pick a side and don’t just sit on the fence.
We hope this has helped you to feel more prepared for tackling ethical medical school interview questions. The main thing to remember is to stay calm and just work through each of your ethical pillars in turn. Don't hesitate to send us any questions or comments by email at hello@theMSAG.com. Good luck in your interview!
Dr Hannah Pierce
Dr Hannah Pierce is a O&G Trainee. She studied at Keele Medical School where she was also an interviewer. She taught at Keele medical school as a clinical fellow and she co-wrote theMSAG's Interview Guidebook