Written by George J Annas and Sondra Crobsy
WITH THE NEW DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
Abstract: Military medical ethics has been challenged by the post-11 September 2001 ‘War on Terror’. Two recurrent questions are whether military physicians are officers first or physicians first, and whether military physicians need a separate code of ethics. In this article, we focus on how the War on Terror has affected the way we have addressed these questions since 2001. Two examples frame this discussion: the use of military physicians to force-feed hunger strikers held in Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and the uncertain fate of the Department of Defense’s report on ‘Ethical Guidelines and Practices for US Military Medical Professionals’.
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For a pdf document on the Defense Health Board’s Ethical Guidelines and Practices for U.S. Military Medical Professionals, please find it here.