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May 1964

The Tissue Committee

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(5):610. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010626002

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A letter published elsewhere in this issue of the Archives spotlights the perennial issue of unnecessary surgery. It suggests that some among us shortchange our ideals in deciding who should and who should not have surgery.

This is the question which so moved the AMA's Joint Commission on Accreditation a few years ago that Tissue Committees were made mandatory in accredited hospitals for the specific function of examining all tissue removed at surgery. In this way, it was hoped the finger of suspicion would point to surgeons who removed inordinate numbers of normal appendices, uteri, tonsils, or other appendages. The Tissue Committee thus became in effect an ethics committee and the pathologist became unwittingly his brother surgeons' keeper. Despite this touchy arrangement the influence of tissue committees in general hospitals has been, we are told, favorable.

But such a control over general surgery has little bearing on ophthalmic surgery. The

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