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May 2016

The Ethics of Introducing New Surgical Technology Into Clinical PracticeThe Importance of the Patient-Surgeon Relationship

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(5):405-406. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.0011

Much has been written in recent years about the ethical challenges of surgical innovation. In contrast to the US Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of new drugs and surgical devices, there is no oversight of new surgical techniques. The creativity needed for surgeons to solve their patients’ problems in novel ways is not only allowed but expected in the operating room. However, even though novel technology requires more oversight than does a new technique, there is still a critical role for the surgeon’s judgment in the application of new technology.

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