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"A band of brothers" - an exploration of the range of medical ethical issues faced by British senior military clinicians on deployment to Afghanistan: a qualitative study

Bernthal, Elizabeth M.; Draper, H. J.A.; Henning, J.; Kelly, J. C.

Authors

Elizabeth M. Bernthal

H. J.A. Draper

J. Henning

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



Abstract

Aims To identify and explore features of ethical issues that senior clinicians faced as Deployed Medical Directors (DMDs) to the British Field Hospital in Afghanistan (BFHA) as well as to determine the ethical training requirements for future deployments. Method A qualitative study in two phases conducted from November 2014 to June 2015. Phase 1 analysed 60 vignettes of cases that had generated ethical dilemmas for DMDs. Phase 2 included focus groups and an interview with 13 DMDs. Findings Phase 1 identified working with limited resources, dual conflict of meeting both clinical and military obligations and consent of children as the most prevalent ethical challenges. Themes found in Phase 2 included sharing clinical responsibilities with clinicians from other countries and not knowing team members’ ways of working, in addition to the themes from Phase 1. Discussion This study has drawn together examples of scenarios to form a repository that will aid future training. Recommendations included undertaking ethics training together as a team before, during and after deployment which must include all nationalities who are assigned to the same operational tour so different ethical views can be explored beforehand.

Citation

Bernthal, E. M., Draper, H. J., Henning, J., & Kelly, J. C. (2017). "A band of brothers" - an exploration of the range of medical ethical issues faced by British senior military clinicians on deployment to Afghanistan: a qualitative study. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, 163(3), (199-205). doi:10.1136/jramc-2016-000701. ISSN 0035-8665

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 25, 2016
Publication Date 2017-06
Deposit Date Nov 3, 2016
Publicly Available Date
Journal Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps
Print ISSN 0035-8665
Electronic ISSN 2052-0468
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 163
Issue 3
Pages 199-205
DOI https://doi.org/10.1136/jramc-2016-000701
Keywords British senior military clinicians
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/444871
Publisher URL http://jramc.bmj.com/content/163/3/199
Additional Information This is a description of an article accepted for publication in: Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps..