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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Contributors The authors contributed equally in the preparation of this manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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