Essay: US Military Health System Needs Strong Ethical Culture

Posted January 7, 2016 at 5:26am

News-Medical.net reports: “The health professional community should urge the United States Secretary of Defense to adopt and implement the recent recommendations of the Defense Health Board, and in addition rescind directives authorizing participation of health professionals in interrogation and force-feeding because they are inconsistent with professional ethics according to Leonard Rubenstein, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Berman Institute of Bioethics, Baltimore, and colleagues in a new Essay published this week in PLOS Medicine.”  

“In their Essay the authors highlight recommendations made by the United States Defense Health Board in its review of the ethical guidelines and practices for United States military medical professionals that was published in March 2015. The review recognized that military physicians often face “dual loyalty” conflicts between ethical duties and organizational requirements and concluded that codes established by medical professional organizations are applicable to the health care practiced by military personnel in the military health system. The review also urged the Department of Defence to ensure that the military health care professional’s first ethical obligation is to the patient via its policies, guidance, and instructions.”