The Defence Medical Services (DMS) deployed on Op GRITROCK to Sierra Leone in support of the Ebola outbreak. This operation was the first large-scale DMS deployment since operations in Afghanistan ceased at the end of 2014. This type of operation revealed a number of ethical issues and challenges that the DMS had not faced for a long time. The ethical issues identified during the deployment are discussed in this article using the principalism approach of Beauchamp and Childress. Many of these issues were not identified prior to deployment, and troops were not adequately prepared. The article will outline the difficulties of using the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice during a public health emergency, and conclude with recommendations for ethical considerations that should be identified and mitigated against for future deployments to a public health emergency.
- INFECTIOUS DISEASES
- MEDICAL ETHICS
- Ebola Virus Disease
- Received December 31, 2015.
- Revision received February 1, 2016.
- Accepted February 10, 2016.
- Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
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