Mid-term project with the aim of establishing a collection of scenarios with relevant issues in military medical ethics.
The desideratum of a MME case collection has been reiterated during a joint workshop of the MILMED COE and ICMM RefC held in Munich on 14-16 September 2015. The CMME has participated actively in that workshop and agreed to establish the MME case database in close cooperation with the ICMM RefC. It was agreed, that the MILMED COE will be consulted and invited to contribute to the database project and that it will be open to other interested persons or institutions from both academia and the military.
As a follow-up, a small workshop was held at the CMME in Zürich on 29.02. /01.03.2016 with the aim of defining the outline of the MME case collection and database project. The current version of the database is strongly based on the results of this workshop.
First ideas and a sketch of the project have been presented during the 2016 ICMM Lilienberg workshop, the PowerPoint presentation is attached to this page (scroll to the end).
Relevance of realistic case scenarios
The collection of observations and reports on ethical challenges for military medical personnel during missions has been proven to be difficult for several reasons. For example, those returning from missions can on the one not be easily approached by outsiders and they may also be reluctant to openly talk about their experiences.
However, training and research in the field of military medical ethics should both be based on real-world or at least realistic case descriptions and scenarios. Only then can training cover the issues relevant for missions and prepare the personnel for the challenges they could encounter. Research as the basis of education and training in military medical ethics, on the other hand, should similarly be oriented towards the needs and issues, which in fact arise as problems on the field and pose challenges during missions.
Main aims of the database
The project shall offer an environment and workflow that allows on the one hand to enter cases and observations and, on the other hand, to access the case collection via database queries in order to get selected collections e.g. based on issues. Thus, the database will on the one hand offer a forum to (anonymously) report observations from missions. On the other hand, over the time and as these reports come in the database will grow up to offer to trainers and researchers an extensive collection of issues and scenarios that are informed by real-world experiences and constitute actual challenges in the field.
In addition, short analyses and introductory comment documents on the ethical aspects of central issues (like mixed loyalties, medical rules of engagement etc.) shall be written and be published to provide a basic guidance to analyse the scenarios or to use them during training. These documents will be linked to the relevant scenarios according to keywords.
The establishment of a collection of “protocols” covering difficult situations has already been established as one of the tasks for the ZH Center for Military Medical Ethics in the service and target agreements for the 2014-2017 contract. The cooperation with both the ICMM RefC and the MILMED COE will make this project easier to realize and the interest of both institutions also proves the relevance of it.