You are part of a team of expatriate nurses and doctors working with an
international non-governmental organization. The team includes two
surgeons. You are working in a post-disaster setting and have a mandate
to treat patients with injuries and trauma that resulted from the
disaster. In the first weeks following the disaster, the surgical team
performed a high number of procedures every day. In recent days there
has been a decrease in surgical cases and there is OR time available.
The surgeons receive a request from local doctors that they perform
hernia repairs for several local villagers who have been living with
hernias for many years. Hernia repair is well within the capacities of
the team and their facilities. Hernias are a significant issue for
local farmers and have a serious impact on the individual’s ability to
perform manual labour. However, your team has a strict mandate from the
non-governmental organization and a closely scripted memorandum of
agreement with the Ministry of Health.
- Under what conditions should the team treat patients beyond the mandate?
- Should they perform these procedures?