Summary: Aims and plans
The aim of the scenario collection is to provide deploying military medical personnel and those who organise trainging and education with a tool to better prepare for future missions.
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.
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.
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.
Target Audience: Who benefits and contributes?
The target audience of the case collection are both practitioners (medical staff, other military and humanitarian actors, trainers) and researchers in universities or think-tanks. Both groups can benefit in very different ways from the collection and their respective contributions are of great value for the other group, too. The following table provides an overview on who can contribute to and benefit from the collection in different ways.
Even though the CMME will host the database, it will (hopefully) not be the only user. On the contrary, the project shall be planned and realized in a way that allows other users (institutions and individuals) to equally benefit from it. This is the main reason why other potentially interested actors have been involved in the development of the project from the beginning.
Scope of cases collected in the database
The scope of the observations and more importantly the scenarios and case studies, which are collected and presented in the database, will (at the beginning) be restricted to the field of military medical ethics (MME). This means that the common denominator of the collected issues is to be found in the military context and in relation with the provision of medical care. Within that sphere, cases will cover issues of combat related medical care as well as humanitarian missions or UN operations (PEO, PKO).
In a later phase, the collection could be extended (if this is deemed to be constructive and reasonable) to include similar issues from related civilian fields of work that e.g. to the kind of ethical problems that humanitarian actors may encounter. Their experiences and ethical issues encountered for example during disaster relief missions share some similarities and are therefore also of interest for military actors.