This paper describes the change of emphasis that occurred in the teaching of ethics to small groups of clinical students. Although the original focus of the course was on the analysis of ethical dilemmas associated with individual patients known to the students, it soon became evident that there were, for the students themselves, more fundamental ethical dilemmas in their new role as clinical students. These included worries about how to respond when patients asked questions which their consultants had previously deceived them about, worries about inflicting pain on patients, as with intravenous cannulation, and the role of the medical student in the clinical team. We emphasise the need to explore student experiences as part of the process of ethics teaching.
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