US military medical ethics in the War on Terror.


Center for Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA [Email]


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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