Harriet Standing

Harriet Standing

MA Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics (intercalated year)

Summary: Final year medical student Harriet decided to study for her MA course because it provided a chance to explore her interests and gain an MA within a year.

I’ve been in Leeds over the last 5 years, studying Medicine and I intercalated in Biomedical and Health Care Ethics for a year. 

I applied for the MA course primarily because it offered a chance to explore an area of my own interest in great depth, as well as a unique and challenging opportunity to achieve an MA in a year. What makes me most passionate about this topic is dealing with the most challenging moral dilemmas faced in health care, where people are commonly split in their views and it can be difficult to determine the best course of action. The kinds of issues we studied in the course are important and realistic dilemmas which are faced in health care, and outside of the health care setting in general life; and I enjoy discussing such dilemmas with peers, considering other people’s views and having my own thoughts challenged too.

I really enjoyed the discussions that we had regarding controversial issues, such as beginning of life, death, and resource allocation. These kinds of discussions incorporated intuitive, religious, cultural, political and emotional aspects which were interesting and eye opening, and I really enjoyed having my thoughts and beliefs challenged. 

The facilities at Leeds are great, there are several big libraries which are great for independent and group study, offering silent study areas, computers, comfortable seating and booths for group work. On campus, there are a variety of shops and cafes/restaurants too, and there are lots of places on campus, including the union, where questions can be answered and support given. There are lots of societies too. I have participated in the Leeds University Union Women’s Hockey Society, and Leeds University Union Tennis Society, which I really enjoy. I have also been involved in a society called ‘Cutting Edge’, which is a society offered by Leeds Medical School, and a society called the Student Clinical Ethics Forum, through which I developed my interest in ethics.

I have two more years of Medicine to complete before I graduate, and I think these skills I’ve gained from my MA will hugely benefit me when dealing with challenges in practice, particularly with regards to determining the best course of action and justification for this action.