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Senior Decision Making

Investigators: Lt Col Lizzy Bernthal, (RCDM) (PI),   Heather Draper (University of Warwick), Janet Kelly (University of Hull), Col Jeremy Henning (RCDM)

Funder: Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (Academia and Research)

This project aimed to explore and understand the range of issues faced by senior military clinicians in order to determine how best to support medical ethical decision-making in future military operations. In addition, it captured some of the medical ethical dilemmas that have confronted these clinicians when deployed as Deployed Medical Directors (DMDs) to the British Field Hospital in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan now that this campaign is completed. Our findings should help to determine how senior clinicians can be supported in their military medical ethical decision-making on military operations during war or peacetime duties in the future, regardless of the environment (austere or otherwise) in which they are deployed.


Bernthal, E., Draper, H. J. A., Hennings, J. Kelly JC., “A band of brothers”: A qualitative study exploring the range medical ethical issues faced by British senior military clinicians on deployment to Afghanistan. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 2017;163:199-205