Medical student expelled after posting video of human dissection online

A watchdog and the University of Dundee carried out an investigation following the 'serious incident'.

Dundee University medical student expelled after posting video of human body dissection to social media Getty Images

A medical student was expelled from the University of Dundee after they filmed a dissection of a cadaver and posted it on social media without permission.

Strict ethical rules mean that unless a human body donor has consented to filming or photography, images cannot be taken or broadcast.

Following the incident, an investigation was carried out by His Majesty’s Inspector of Anatomy for Scotland (HMIAS) and the university and the student was subsequently expelled.

The incident was briefly mentioned in an annual report after a routine inspection by HMIAS which was made publicly available through the Scottish Government.

The inspector wrote: “There was only one serious incident requiring my intervention. An investigation into the incident was carried out by me and the university in question and appropriate action taken.”

Guidance from the Human Tissue Authority states that “all parts of the body should be treated with respect and consideration” and the universities must ensure there are safeguards to “prevent the inappropriate use of images”. 

Hundreds of people opt to leave their bodies to medical science to Scotland’s five medical schools each year to help the next generation of doctors and scientists.

The Scottish Government confirmed that “appropriate action” was taken as soon as staff were aware of the incident.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Public confidence in the body donor programme in Scotland is essential for the ongoing education and training of healthcare professionals and for research. 

“All of Scotland’s anatomy schools have strict rules that those who have selflessly donated their bodies are treated with dignity and the utmost respect. The University of Dundee took appropriate action as soon as staff were made aware of the incident.”

However, there have been calls for the university and the Scottish Government to disclose the full details of the incident.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP, said: “This is a concerning and distressing case, but it’s one where there needs to be full transparency.

“Dissection, as I know from my own experience when a student, is a crucial component of medical training. But it needs to be approached with decorum, and respect for the dignity of those who aid medical science by their donation.

“It’s vital that we should know how this scandal was handled. If, as we must hope, the disciplinary action taken was appropriate, the full details should be disclosed.”

A University of Dundee spokesperson said: “The university is regulated under licence by HMIAS and relevant legislation in respect of anatomical examinations and study. We take all matters of compliance with the relevant legislation and our public duty as custodian of such donations with the utmost seriousness.

“We are humbled and grateful when a person chooses to donate their body to support medical training and research. The conduct of the student in this instance was not in keeping with the values that we teach or expect from our students.

“We work closely with HMIAS and will take decisive disciplinary action against any student that does not meet our expectations, including termination of studies.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code