Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Ethical lessons learned and to be learned from mass casualty events by terrorism

Strous, Rael D.a; Gold, Azgadb

Current Opinion in Anesthesiology: April 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 174–178
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000684
ETHICS, ECONOMICS AND OUTCOME: Edited by Hartmut Buerkle

Purpose of review The world has seen a major upturn in international terror awareness. Medicine has had to respond. In addition to the unique physical and mental injuries caused by terror which require special clinical attention, so too terror represents a challenge for medicine from an ethics perspective.

Recent findings Several responses in the literature over the past few years have attempted to reflect where the battlefront of ethical dilemmas falls. These include issues of resource allocation, triage, bioterror, the therapeutic relationship with terrorists, dual loyalty, and challenges in the role in the promotion of virtuous behavior as a physician under difficult conditions.

Summary Although many challenges exist, physicians need to be prepared for ethical response to terror. With their associated unique status, providing legitimacy and specialized ability in the management and approach to terror situations, physicians are held to a higher standard and need to rise to the occasion. This is required in order to promote ethical behavior under trying conditions and ethical sensitivity of the medical profession by means of being attuned to the reality around.

aMaayenei Hayeshua Medical Center

bBeer Yaakov Mental Health Center, Israel

Correspondence to Rael D. Strous, MD, MHA, Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, 17 HaRav Povarski Street, Bnei Brak, Israel. Tel: +972 73 3398015; fax: +972 73 3398003; e-mail:

Copyright © 2019 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.