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Triage, treatment, and torture: ethical challenges for US military medicine in Iraq

Triage, treatment, and torture: ethical challenges for US military medicine in Iraq
Triage, treatment, and torture: ethical challenges for US military medicine in Iraq
This article assesses some of the ethical challenges faced by US medical professionals seeking to preserve health and lives in the context of the Iraq War. The nature of the relationship between medicine and the military is tested in two areas at opposite ends of the care-giving spectrum. First, in the treatment of sick and wounded soldiers and civilians in Iraq, tough decisions are required on who receives what treatment and when. Second, when medical professionals participate in harmful interrogations, there is a need to decide between medical duties and military imperatives. The ethical principles considered throughout the article include the Hippocratic maxim ‘first, do no harm’, impartiality in the provision of humanitarian assistance, and pursuit of a greater good. The author concludes that the military objectives and medical care-giving requirements of the Iraq War are mismatched, and that medical professionals who participate in interrogations are not entitled to protected status under the Geneva Conventions.
1502-7570
186-201
Enemark, Christian
004b6521-f1bb-426a-a37b-686c6a8061f6
Enemark, Christian
004b6521-f1bb-426a-a37b-686c6a8061f6

Enemark, Christian (2008) Triage, treatment, and torture: ethical challenges for US military medicine in Iraq. Journal of Military Ethics, 7 (3), 186-201. (doi:10.1080/15027570802277763).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article assesses some of the ethical challenges faced by US medical professionals seeking to preserve health and lives in the context of the Iraq War. The nature of the relationship between medicine and the military is tested in two areas at opposite ends of the care-giving spectrum. First, in the treatment of sick and wounded soldiers and civilians in Iraq, tough decisions are required on who receives what treatment and when. Second, when medical professionals participate in harmful interrogations, there is a need to decide between medical duties and military imperatives. The ethical principles considered throughout the article include the Hippocratic maxim ‘first, do no harm’, impartiality in the provision of humanitarian assistance, and pursuit of a greater good. The author concludes that the military objectives and medical care-giving requirements of the Iraq War are mismatched, and that medical professionals who participate in interrogations are not entitled to protected status under the Geneva Conventions.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 26 August 2008
Published date: 2008
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 400217
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400217
ISSN: 1502-7570
PURE UUID: cab80b11-d9bd-43b7-ab36-ef9fc2c08a0e
ORCID for Christian Enemark: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1833-0927

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Sep 2016 15:32
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:15

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