How large-scale combat battles bring new medical ethics challenges

    WORLD  09 December 2023 - 01:58

    A decade filled with conflicts applying modern, digital techniques of warfare which highly differ from the classical martial tactics has not only led to a change in how combat forces organize themselves but also the medical members. The War on the Rocks defense publication has examined the new challenges medical teams are facing behind the frontlines and how this affects how battles are being fought out. Caliber.Az reprints this article.

    "As the US military prepares for an era of large-scale combat operations, the 'golden hour' as medics know it is dead. So long as near-peer adversaries can create anti-access/area denial zones that threaten ground and rotary wing medevac units, they will not be able to get servicemembers to Role 2 surgical care within an hour after the injury.

    The result will be more casualties. With initial estimates from warfighter exercises suggesting casualty rates as high as 55 percent in future conflicts, the current military medical system, regardless of service, will quickly become overwhelmed. The Center for Army Lessons Learned reached the same conclusion based on the experience of a brigade rotation at the National Training Center. During the last 20 years of conflict, the statistical category “died of wounds,” which measures those who were killed after reaching a medical treatment facility, has rarely even been discussed due to high survival rates. In Ukraine, however, this category has returned.

    Large-scale combat operations will bring new ethical dilemmas to combat casualty care. The real potential exists for medical logistical needs to outpace the availability. Contested air environments will deny freedom of movement, and dedicated medevac units will need to say no to requests for evacuation. Finally, the pure volume of casualties will require difficult decisions be to made. There will be a shift from years past when we treated all casualties to deciding who is treated and who does not receive limited resources.

    Squad Multi Equipment Transport casualty evacuation platform employed by the Army and Marine Corps. Those same clogged roads will also present a robust targeting opportunity for a near-peer adversary.

    Another example of potential difficult decisions arising from medical logistic shortfalls comes from the 1991 Gulf War. A General Accounting Office report on the topic discusses shortfalls in medical supplies that occurred during the conflict. All 10 hospitals reviewed for the study experienced medical supply shortfalls. This included oxygen, morphine, antibiotics, plasma, reagents necessary for laboratory tests, flu vaccines, and antibiotics. Pharmaceuticals and reagents are notoriously expensive and frequently expire before use in field units. Additionally, they can lose efficacy if not kept in environmentally controlled conditions.

    While some might relegate the lessons of Desert Shield to a bygone era, medical logistics remains a significant issue today. Even civilians often wind up short of medical logistics. When adversarial forces seize family medicines, ambulances, supplies, and facilities, the civilian populace is left with few options. In the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, locals seeking medical aid at front gates was a common occurrence. Failure to provide medical resources that are perceived to be plentiful but that are in actuality limited can help fuel insurgency. Even Ukraine, which is currently the beneficiary of a worldwide effort led by the World Health Organization, has seen shortages of medical supplies.

    In order to bring higher numbers of casualties home, would a medical draft, in conjunction with the activation of the National Disaster Medical System, be necessary?

    Large-scale combat operations will require a significant paradigm shift from past conflicts. Commanders should anticipate higher casualty rates and prepare accordingly. What will not change, however, is the medical maxim of doing the greatest good with limited supplies, so that others may live".

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Egypt studies plan to expand Suez Canal

04 March 2024 - 20:57

President Biden sure of victory in coming US presidential election

04 March 2024 - 20:37

Shahbaz Sharif takes oath as 24th prime minister of Pakistan

04 March 2024 - 20:20

More than 6 in 10 US adults doubt Biden’s mental capability

04 March 2024 - 20:53

Bitcoin smashes through $65,000

04 March 2024 - 20:46

Reuters: EU wants fossil fuel sector to help pay to combat climate change

04 March 2024 - 19:05
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    World needs better blueprint for structural reform

    Opinion by Financial Times

    05 March 2024 - 00:01

    Would limiting US fossil fuel production actually help climate change?

    04 March 2024 - 23:00

    How trade can help US beat China?

    04 March 2024 - 22:00

    Azerbaijan signs up to Global Methane Pledge

    04 March 2024 - 21:10

    Austrian MPs updated on prospects for Azerbaijan-Armenia peace process

    04 March 2024 - 21:05

    Egypt studies plan to expand Suez Canal

    04 March 2024 - 20:57

    More than 6 in 10 US adults doubt Biden’s mental capability

    04 March 2024 - 20:53

    Bitcoin smashes through $65,000

    04 March 2024 - 20:46

    Azerbaijan establishes Ski Journalists Club

    PHOTO

    04 March 2024 - 20:41

    President Biden sure of victory in coming US presidential election

    04 March 2024 - 20:37

    In search of mutual trust: What can be done?

    Contemplations with Orkhan Amashov

    04 March 2024 - 20:29

    Shahbaz Sharif takes oath as 24th prime minister of Pakistan

    04 March 2024 - 20:20

    16 candidates go to run off in Tehran parl. elections

    04 March 2024 - 20:17

    Cambodian People’s Party: Azerbaijan to play even greater role in regional, global affairs

    04 March 2024 - 20:05

    Azerbaijan, Pakistan intensify military cooperation

    PHOTO

    04 March 2024 - 20:05

    Azerbaijan, Bulgaria hail successful energy cooperation

    PHOTO

    04 March 2024 - 19:53

    Azerbaijan to host first meeting of BSEC tourism educational institutions

    04 March 2024 - 19:41

    Lowest voter turnout in Iran's parliamentary polls stuns ruling regime

    Azerbaijanis opposing Kurds' land claims in Iran

    04 March 2024 - 19:35

    Khankendi-Baku Ultramarathon wraps up in Azerbaijan

    PHOTO

    04 March 2024 - 19:29

    Türkiye unveils AZAT FPV kamikaze drone

    PHOTO

    04 March 2024 - 19:21

    Turkmenistan could join Organisation of Turkic States in 2024

    04 March 2024 - 19:13

    Reuters: EU wants fossil fuel sector to help pay to combat climate change

    04 March 2024 - 19:05

    Azerbaijan, Bulgaria eying development of interstate, interparliamentary cooperation

    PHOTO

    04 March 2024 - 18:57

    Azerbaijan, Qatar discuss current financial situation

    04 March 2024 - 18:45

    Turkish COBRA-II armoured tactical vehicles spotted in Kazakhstan

    PHOTO/VIDEO

    04 March 2024 - 18:37

    Palestinian president set to visit Türkiye

    Meeting with Erdoğan scheduled

    04 March 2024 - 18:25

    Algerian president's security officers block Iranian leader's guards

    VIDEO

    04 March 2024 - 18:13

    Turkish trainer aircraft “HÜRJET” accomplishes another test

    VIDEO

    04 March 2024 - 18:01

    Pundit warns against overestimating Armenia's importance in regional dynamics

    04 March 2024 - 17:54

    Baku's former train station makes way for "hybrid green corridor"

    From rails to trails/VIDEO

    04 March 2024 - 17:46

    Italian warship forced to shoot down Houthi missile in Red Sea

    04 March 2024 - 17:37

    Hungarian PM: West misses opportunity to conclude peace agreement on Ukraine

    04 March 2024 - 17:29

    Expert: Europeans unwilling to die for Armenia

    04 March 2024 - 17:20

    Iran to hold second round of elections as results of first round announced

    04 March 2024 - 17:12

    Death toll in Israel’s war on Gaza rises to 30,534

    04 March 2024 - 17:03

    Azerbaijan, Iran discuss Aghband-Julfa road construction

    04 March 2024 - 16:56

    Armenia, Greece bolstering military-technical cooperation

    04 March 2024 - 16:47

    Azerbaijani Mine Action Agency defuses over 580 munitions in liberated lands

    04 March 2024 - 16:38

    Türkiye's annual inflation climbs to over 67% in February

    04 March 2024 - 16:30

    President Aliyev reaffirms Azerbaijan's commitment to boost ties with Pakistan

    04 March 2024 - 16:29

All news