Military Medical Ethics – Scenario Database

Blood donation for a jihadist

ID/Number: 67
Last updated: 21 Jan, 2019
Revision: 2
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After a long fight between insurgent jihadists and soldiers, some wounded combatants are transferred into the medical facilities. Among them, is a seriously wounded insurgent. One of his legs was ripped off, the second probably needs to be amputated, and he lost an eye.

Immediately he is taken care of by the military doctors. They soon realize that their resources are getting low and that the patient urgently needs more blood transfusions if he is to survive. Currently, the hospital does not have a sufficient amount of blood in reserve. 

Therefore, the doctors ask for volunteers among the soldiers who are willing to make a blood donation so that the (insurgent) patient can be treated.

It soon becomes evident that the doctors' vision of the situation differs from that of the soldiers. For the doctors a human life is a human life. The soldiers still see the wounded insurgent as an enemy who has just tried to kill them – they are therefore reluctant to comply with the doctors' request.

Source: Report

Questions for the discussion of this scenario

1. Do you use the scarce resources for this patient who has small chances to survive?
2. Can you order/ force the soldiers to make a blood donation?

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Related scenarios and readings
item A human life is a human life

This scenario is also listed in the following categories
folder Military Medical Ethics Scenarios -> Limited/ scarce resources environment -> Level of care under limited resources
folder Military Medical Ethics Scenarios -> Treatment of captured/ detained persons -> Triage/ Level of care of captured persons
folder Military Medical Ethics Scenarios -> Neutrality of the medical personnel