Professionalism under fire: Conflict, war and epidemics

Michelle McLean, Vikram Jha, John Sandars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Todays medical students (tomorrows doctors) will be entering a world of conflict, war and regular outbreaks of infectious diseases. Despite numerous international declarations and treaties protecting human rights, the last few decades has been fraught with reports of "lapses" in medical professionalism involving torture and force-feeding of detainees (e.g. captured during the War on Terror) and health care professionals refusing to treat infected patients (e.g. HIV and Ebola). This paper provides some historical background to the changing status of a physicians duty to treat and how medical practitioners came to be involved in the inhumane treatment of detainees during the War on Terror, culminating in reports of "lapses" in professionalism. The Theory of Planned Behavior, which takes into account the individual, the environment and the social context, is used to explain the factors that might influence an individuals behavior in challenging situations. The paper concludes with some recommendations for medical and health professions education. The recommendations include selecting students who, as a minimum, can provide evidence of "basic" professionalism, engaging them in exploring the history of the medical profession, exposing them to contexts of uncertainty and moral dilemmas and challenging them to reflect on their responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-836
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Teacher
Volume37
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2015

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terrorism
profession
Torture
International Cooperation
Health Occupations
Social Environment
torture
Enteral Nutrition
Medical Students
Health Education
treaty
Uncertainty
contagious disease
Disease Outbreaks
medical student
human rights
History
physician
HIV
uncertainty

Cite this

McLean, Michelle ; Jha, Vikram ; Sandars, John. / Professionalism under fire : Conflict, war and epidemics. In: Medical Teacher. 2015 ; Vol. 37, No. 9. pp. 831-836.
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Professionalism under fire : Conflict, war and epidemics. / McLean, Michelle; Jha, Vikram; Sandars, John.

In: Medical Teacher, Vol. 37, No. 9, 02.09.2015, p. 831-836.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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