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In Reply Far from being marginalized, the surgeon’s role on the health care team is both critical and central because only the surgeon is aware of all elements of the operation. In this regard, Dr Reiling raises important points about responsibility and teamwork in an era of increasingly complex care.
The concept of responsibility is invested with both legal and ethical meanings. From a legal perspective, anyone caring for a patient may be held responsible for adverse outcomes.1 From an ethical perspective, we acknowledge that a surgeon has a unique relationship with a patient owing in part to the constellation of events and interactions that evolve as a result of a decision to undergo surgery.2
Nurok M, Sadovnikoff N, Gewertz B. Surgeon’s Responsibility for Patient Care—Reply. JAMA Surg. Published online August 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.2357