Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Innovation in education: the military medical ethics ‘playing cards’ and smartphone application
  1. Marina Miron1 and
  2. M Bricknell2
  1. 1Department of Defence Studies, King's College London, Watchfield, UK
  2. 2Department of War Studies, Conflict and Health Research Group, King's College London - Strand Campus, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marina Miron, Defence Studies, King's College London, Watchfield, UK; marina.miron{at}


Military medical personnel need to understand military medical ethics to comply with international humanitarian law, national health practice and professional norms. Teaching this subject is constrained by a lack of educational resources, being further exacerbated by the limits imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper describes an innovative approach to deliver military medical ethics education using 52 scenarios published as a set of playing cards and a smartphone app. The rationale for the methodology and the development of these scenarios is summarised. This package forms a part of a ‘d(igital)-learning’ educational suite that includes physical cards, the app and a website for teaching both military and military medical ethics. The paper describes the experience of delivering this d-learning package in military medical ethics to UK and international audiences. The final sections offer a look ahead to the next stages for refinement to the current suite and the wider d-learning resources.

  • medical education & training
  • health services administration & management
  • ethics (see medical ethics)

Statistics from


  • Twitter @MartinBricknell

  • Contributors MB and MM equally conceived, drafted and guarantee this paper.

  • Funding This study is funded by King’s College Faculty of Public Policy, King’s College London, UK Research and Innovation (ES/P010962/1).

  • Competing interests MB is Deputy Director of the King’s Centre for Military Ethics.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.