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The concise argument
  1. Søren Holm, Editor
  1. Correspondence to Søren Holm, JME, UK; production.jme{at}bmjgroup.com

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Cases for reflection from Médecins Sans Frontières

Sheather and Shah present four ethically challenging cases that healthcare professionals working with the humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have experienced (see page 162). The purpose of presenting these cases is to invite discussion and dialogue as an aid to ethical reflection within MSF and other humanitarian organisations. Each case is accompanied by ethical comment and by an explanation of what usually happens in the field.

We hope that our readers will engage in debate about these cases and will put them all up on our blog for discussion, but here is one of them to give you a head start:

“Acting beyond competence

MSF aims to deliver high quality healthcare with professionals suited to their tasks. Doctors and nurses will inevitably be asked to act above their competence level as resources, including specialist physicians, are limited. The following scenario and its variations are not uncommon.

MSF dilemma 4

Our doctor has previously assisted in caesarean sections but has never taken …

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