This book chapter raises questions about the provision of healthcare for veterans and the nature and extent of the government’s duty of care to injured ex-Service personnel. This chapter seeks to explore the nature of veteran entitlement and moral obligation, and to consider what this means in relation to caring for veterans.
In the UK, The Armed Forces Covenant states that veterans should receive priority treatment where it relates to a condition, subject to clinical need, which results from their service in the Armed Forces. This chapter raises questions about the provision of medical care for injured service personnel and the nature of the government’s duty of care for veterans with long term, chronic health conditions. By extension, some of that duty is devolved to front line healthcare services – primary healthcare in the UK. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the nature of this entitlement and moral obligation, and to consider what this might mean in relation to caring for veterans in the primary healthcare. Since primary care, then, is often the first point of contact between a veteran and the health services, decisions about if and how a veteran ought to be prioritised need to be articulated, including whether veterans may be distinctly vulnerable or needy.
Engward, H., 2018. Veterans and the ethics of reciprocity in UK primary healthcare. In: A. Papanikitas and J. Spicer, eds. 2018. Handbook of Primary Care Ethics. Florida: CRC Press, pp. 197-202.