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How Should Military Health Care Workers Respond When Conflict Reaches the Hospital?

Overview of attention for article published in AMA Journal of Ethics, June 2022
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Title
How Should Military Health Care Workers Respond When Conflict Reaches the Hospital?
Published in
AMA Journal of Ethics, June 2022
DOI 10.1001/amajethics.2022.478
Pubmed ID
Authors

Hunter Jackson Smith, Joseph Procaccino, Megan Applewhite, Jackson Smith, Hunter, Procaccino, Joseph, Applewhite, Megan

Abstract

Military clinicians face unique ethical challenges in conflict zones, particularly if conflict reaches a health care setting. Although the ethical challenges of rationing and triaging while fulfilling obligations to individual patients are not dissimilar to those civilian clinicians encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic, military clinicians must also meet national security and mission requirements. Conflicting clinical care, mission, and individual conscience obligations can cause moral distress, a deeply troubling internal conflict also experienced by civilian clinicians. Crisis settings imposed in conflict or during pandemic surges demonstrate the need for all clinicians to be prepared to modify practice priorities during extreme circumstances.

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