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Moral Dilemmas in Military Health Care

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Chapter Summary

Military health care is closely interwoven with the armed forces; its main task is to support military operations in conditions that are often difficult and risky. Originally, that health care focused mainly on restoring health (healing), when personnel became ill or were wounded in battle. Military health care focuses largely on common practice in civil health care and adapts it to suit the situation within the armed forces. This chapter outlines a number of typical dilemmas within military health care, as experienced in the day-to-day practice in the Netherlands and on deployment abroad. It discusses the subjects that range from establishing the boundaries of professional responsibility to those which directly affect survival during operational deployment. The chapter touches on issues of legality (are actions in accordance with the law and/or are there sufficient grounds for deviating from it?) and also of justice.

Keywords: armed forces; civil health care; military health care; military operations; Netherlands



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