Forgery of a medical certificate

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 – Forgery of a Medical Certificate

You have a Philosophy paper due on Friday October 14.  The course outline indicates that if you do not hand in your assignment on time you will receive a deduction of 1% for each day the paper is late unless you have a valid reason for the delay.  You are not able to finish the paper on time because you are not feeling well.  You go to the local walk-in clinic on the morning of October 14 to see the doctor. You ask for a medical note.  The doctor writes you a note and indicates that you are able to return to class on October 14.  You take the note, thank the doctor, and go home for the day.  You complete your paper on the weekend.  On Monday October 17 while getting ready for class, you read the medical note and realize that the doctor wrote that you could attend class on October 14.  You panic and change the date of the note to read that you can return to class on October 24.  You go back to your Philosophy class on Monday October 24 with your medical note and your finished paper.

The Issue:

Altering a medical certificate is considered to be an academic offence and you may be sanctioned by the University. Although you have received an official doctor’s note for your absence, you are not permitted to make any changes to the original document even if the doctor has made an error. You are also falsely extending your period of absence from the University without any official documentation from your doctor.

Smart Strategies

  • You might want to go back to your doctor to correct the document.
  • Notify your instructor of the error made by your doctor rather than altering your medical note and postponing your return to school. He/she is likely to call your doctor’s office to receive confirmation of your illness which instructors do quite often. You must not make any changes to the document.
  • You may contact your undergraduate advisor on how to approach the issue if you see an error on your doctor’s note.

Range of Consequences

For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.