Using a purchased, fake or forged medical (VOI) form

code | scenariosmart strategies | consequences

Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters

1. It shall be an offence for a student knowingly:

(a) to forge or in any other way alter or falsify any document or evidence required by the University, or to utter, circulate or make use of any such forged, altered or falsified document, whether the record be in print or electronic form;

Wherever in the Code an offence is described as depending on “knowing”, the offence shall likewise be deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known.

Scenario – Using a purchased, fake or forged medical (VOI) form

You have a first-year Chemistry exam the afternoon of December 14.  You wake up that day and are feeling seriously unwell, and really don’t think you can write the exam that afternoon.  You aren’t from Toronto, and don’t know where to go to have a doctor sign your U of T Verification of Illness (VOI) form.  You post online, asking if anyone knows where you can get a medical note signed.  Someone you don’t even know contacts you to say they can take care of the situation and give you a signed form right away. You’re feeling rotten, and even though the person says they’ll charge you $50, and don’t ask you what kind of illness you have, you transfer them the money. Within 5 minutes, the person sends you a  medical note signed by what seems to be a Toronto doctor, using today’s date. You submit the form to the University and go back to bed.

The Issue:

Using a fake or forged form or certificate is considered to be a very serious academic offence. Verification of Illness (VOI) forms must be signed by a real, Ontario doctor who has actually examined you. There are companies and people online that will sell you fake/forged medical notes for a fee. Never buy a medical note from someone else, and never use a note signed by a doctor who has not examined you. These notes are likely not real, and can result in very serious sanctions for you, including multi-year suspensions.  You should know that U of T confirms the accuracy of student medical notes by contacting doctors listed on the form.

Smart Strategies

  • Never purchase a signed medical form online or from a friend! You must visit a doctor yourself, and have the doctor examine you. If you don’t know a Toronto doctor, contact your campus health clinic for advice on where to have your form signed.  International Students can contact their International Student Centre for advice.
  • You must also not make any changes to the original medical form that was signed by the doctor.  Doing so is considered forgery. You may also not re-use a medical note by changing the date on the original form. Each time you are ill and require a Verification of Illness form, you must submit a new form that has been newly signed by a doctor.

Range of Consequences

For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.