Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Left of bang interventions in trauma: some legal implications of military medical prophylaxis
  1. Rain Liivoja1,2
  1. 1TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rain Liivoja, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia; r.liivoja{at}


In the context of military medical care, Eisenstein and colleagues have introduced the notion ‘left of bang intervention in trauma’, which refers to interventions administered before trauma to reduce morbidity and mortality after injury. This paper responds to Eisenstein and colleagues’ ethical analysis of such interventions, highlighting the difficulty in distinguishing between purely prophylactic and enhancing interventions. This response also addresses legal issues that arise from left of bang interventions under human rights law and the law of armed conflict, in particular the questions as to whether the consent of service members would need to be obtained and whether the adversary would as a consequence be authorised to resort to more injurious weapons.

  • enhancement
  • law
  • military and government personnel
  • clinical ethics
  • applied and professional ethics

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors RL is the sole author of this work.

  • Funding Writing this response was enabled by a Branco Weiss Fellowship (Society in Science, ETH Zurich).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Linked Articles