Treating a terrorist.

Okay as a result of a conversation with a surgeon or two in central London, I have a question to propose.

If you were on the scene of an incident, or even in hospital according to triage etc, and you found yourself saving/operating on the terrorist him/her self, how would you react?

Yes deep down you should treat all people in proity of urgency. Treating the enemy in a war situation is easyier to deal with as they are combatants in a war zone. Yes they may have kiied your side but, war is war..

But if you were treating the terroorist in question?

The discussion concluded that they would treat the terrorist but hey would find it hard, especailly if victims were struggling, and they may not rush the treat emnt according to triage.

I through the arguemtn open.



As tempting as it would be to let a terrorist die, there is one reason why an injured terrorist should be given medical treatment and why he should be given treatment before anyone else.
If you save the life of a terrorist you can interrogate the little bugger and find out where all his terrorist friends are.
Then you can hunt and kill the whole bloody lot of them.
I assume you'll let us or SO13 remove his bomb first, if so I can assure you there shouldn't be too much for you to work on - all in the name of public & personal safety obviously :twisted:
Hi Jennie, you are correct in that this throws up some questions for us all to consider. In war, it is easy enough to quote the Geneva Convention, but for those who experience it, the reality is not quite so black and white when it's up close and personal, there is still human nature to contend with. In the Counter Terrorism environment, the terrorist must first be neutralised as a threat before they can enter the triage system. This can involve many different processes depending on the type of incident and may take some time. This should be the responsibility of the police / army if they are present. Once the terrorist in question can be counted as a casualty like any other, I think that they would be treated as such. This is just my opinion of course, but I have seen sheer professionalism get people through many different scenarios with many different emotions involved. I think it is in our nature to get the job done under difficult circumstances.
I have also seen people beat themselves up over the choices they have made in such circumstances, it's worth remembering that we're only human, no matter what 'systems' are in place to get things done.
Hope this helps.
I'm not a medic, but assuming we are talking about a mass casualty situation and one knows that person is the perpetrator, then it would be a difficult choice to make. I would anticipate that there are professional principles that might be in conflict with personal feelings here?

However, as Goku suggests, if one was able to keep that person alive there will be considerable, possibly unique, intelligence that the authorities will be able to gain from them.

Unethical though it may be, the bond between the patient and healthcare professionals might place one in a position to elicit valuable information from the terrorist. Information that may not be obtained so swiftly by others. This intelligence may in turn save many more lives and help to inflict greater attrition on the terrorist.

Perhaps a more powerful image for good, is a terrorist who was cared back to health and then stood trial? A terrorist left to die on a trolley in a corridor would cetainly be found out by the Guardian and played back against us.

Rather like some recent contribution from the Daily Mirror. :evil:
we wern't put here to act as god, even though some people think they are. GOKU's quite right, treat him as you should in line with your skills and expertise then leave the politics up to the politicians.

Some medics will already have come across this problem during op tours and now have to live by their judgements. There is no right or wrong, its a personal thing.


Not excactly the same thing but on the same theme:

Medics, Nurses & the like have to deal with patients who some might feel (in private company) should be left to die slowly & preferrably painfully!

Personally spent quite a bit of time working with Sex Offenders & my best advice is not to try to be "holistic" but just focus on treating the medical problem, i.e. if its a broken leg then concentrate on the leg & try to ignore the pile of excrement attached to it.

ethical dillema No 53(a) -

Imagine supporting a rapist through a difficult time & preventing him commit suicide...........Then he gets released & rapes again this time murdering the victim!

Then imagine he`s back in your care & is again suicidal..................................................................

p.s. I now work elsewhere with less "ethical dillemas" & more good old fashioned stress :)
You support him all over again.

The HCW can not be held responsible for his/hers patients decisions or actions.

All very clear to me.
Correct answer, you do indeed support him all over again.

Correct legally "The HCW can not be held responsible for his/her patients decisions or actions".

but the HCW's did "feel" a degree of responsibility for his/her patients decisions or actions...............

All very clear to me.
OldRedCap said:
Doubtless, TVs Casualty will cover this topic in the near future.
Not unless said terr falls off faulty stepladder whilst changing light bulb, thereby impaling his/herself on iron railings over railway track derailing train carrying nuclear waste etc; etc; etc;


Nice one Jennie!

Goku is of course quite right, but surely saving the terr would also cause him (her?) most anguish too. If they were prepared to die for their cause and you manage to save them (hopefully for a long time at Her Majesty's pleasure!), will they not have lots of time to ponder their failure? Sounds like a winner both ways.

Latest Threads