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Using an ethical model to manage patient-soldier confidentiality when medical treatment for post traumatic stress disorder is refused

Kelly, Janet C.

Authors

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Dr Janet Kelly J.Kelly@hull.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Law and Ethics



Abstract

This paper reviews the ethical tensions and the dual loyalty conflict between following military orders and professional codes of conduct. All competent patients have a right to refuse medical treatment. However, maintaining confidentiality is not an absolute right. In the military, a doctor may have a dual loyalty conflict between obeying military orders and following professional codes of practice. This can become exacerbated when a doctor in a military environment does not consider all the parties’ interests. This paper suggests that dual loyalty conflict in military healthcare practice in this environment is best managed via a discretionary ethic-role. This then allows independent clinical judgment while at the same time minimizing ethical dilemmas, harm, and conflict to a third party such as a military commander. KEYWORDS: military healthcare; confidentiality; refusal of treatment; dual loyalty conflict; PTSD

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 9, 2011
Journal Online journal of health ethics
Electronic ISSN 1551-4218
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 2
Article Number 8
APA6 Citation Kelly, J. C. (2011). Using an ethical model to manage patient-soldier confidentiality when medical treatment for post traumatic stress disorder is refused. Online journal of health ethics, 7(2), https://doi.org/10.18785/ojhe.0702.08
DOI https://doi.org/10.18785/ojhe.0702.08
Keywords Military healthcare; Confidentiality; Refusal of treatment; Dual loyalty conflict; PTSD
Publisher URL https://aquila.usm.edu/ojhe/vol7/iss2/8/
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