Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Asian Medical Student Jumped To His Death After Being Bullied

A 25-year-old Asian medical student leapt to his death from the seventh storey of a university library after he was bullied by his teacher, an inquest heard here.

Amir Mahmood was told by his tutor that he had been expelled from the course after failing his fifth-year finals for a second time.

Mahmood died from multiple injuries after jumping from a window on the seventh storey of the Worsley Building at Leeds General Infirmary, which houses Leeds University's Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

Amir's father, Khalid Mahmood, a doctor, said his son had been harassed throughout his final year by Richard Fuller, the head of the fifth year, before the incident in June 2007.

He told the Leeds inquest on Monday that Amir was a bright student who was never forced to follow in his footsteps but had a lifelong interest in becoming a doctor.

He said "We had become very concerned about the pressure from one member of staff. Once he came home and was very upset, he said a tutor had been bullying and harassing him, also downgrading his work. Amir didn't want any complaints made as he thought it would make it worse."

He claimed two months before his death Amir told the family that his tutor, Fuller, had told him "People don't want a doctor like you. Just because your parents are Asian doctors, it doesn't mean you have to be. Just look at other careers."

The medical school and Fuller deny the allegations.

Prof Trudie Roberts, the head of the School of Medicine at Leeds University, told the hearing that Fuller went before an inquiry "due to the allegations of racism and bullying."

"The investigation exonerated Fuller from these allegations. He is an extremely valuable member of the School of Medicine and if the allegations had been true we would not have wanted anyone like that to be a senior member of our team."

***** That racism exists at the highest levels in British medical schools and hospitals is hard to deny. It's the price that some have to pay to graduate from their universities and practise there.

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