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Op GRITROCK ethics; the way of things to come?
  1. Katherine A Clay1,
  2. J D Henning2 and
  3. S Horne3
  1. 1Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Academic Department of Anaesthesia, Pain and Critical Care, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Maj Katherine A Clay, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, ICT Building, Birmingham Research Park, Vincent Drive, Birmingham B152SQ, UK; kate.clay901{at}


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.

  • Ebola Virus Disease

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