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Book and Media Reviews
October 12, 2011

Clinical Ethics in Anesthesiology: A Case-Based Textbook

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois (

JAMA. 2011;306(14):1603-1604. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1454

Recently, while on call as the anesthesiologist for the operating rooms of the large academic hospital where I work, I was paged by a senior resident. He had called to discuss a complex case of Fournier gangrene resulting from a labial abscess in a patient undergoing ablative chemotherapy in preparation for bone marrow transplantation. She was comatose, in renal failure, had pulmonary edema/acute lung injury, was dependent on a ventilator, and was receiving 4 vasopressors. After relating the details to me, the resident hesitated when he asked if I could come up and tell the surgeon that it was, in his opinion, unethical to operate on this patient because she would almost certainly die in the operating room. I quickly reopened Clinical Ethics in Anesthesiology: A Case-Based Textbook for guidance.

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