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The Picture of HealthMedical Ethics and the Movies$
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Henri Colt, Silvia Quadrelli, and Friedman Lester

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199735365.001.0001

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ethical conflicts of a complex humanitarian emergency

ethical conflicts of a complex humanitarian emergency

the last king of scotland

(p.246) 8 ethical conflicts of a complex humanitarian emergency
The Picture of Health

alan roth

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the ethical implications of decisions made in the context of a complex humanitarian emergency, as seen in the film The Last King of Scotland (2006). The film tells the story of Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), an idealistic young physician fresh out of medical school, who comes to 1970s Uganda to join a medical humanitarian mission. Garrigan eventually realizes that he is not morally, psychologically, or physically prepared to deal with the disease, people, or conditions he sees upon his arrival, and decides to abandon his mission as a humanitarian. The film illustrates many of the ethical dilemmas that result from that decision, as well as the frequent inability of Western medical professionals to handle their role as humanitarian professionals in a complex humanitarian emergency.

Keywords:   The Last Kind of Scotland, medical humanitarian missions, complex humanitarian emergency, ethical conflicts, medical ethics, humanitarian professionals

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