World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 786–788

Ethical Problems in Surgery: Innovation Leading to Unforeseen Complications

  • Martin F. McKneally

DOI: 10.1007/s002689900580

Cite this article as:
McKneally, M. World J. Surg. (1999) 23: 786. doi:10.1007/s002689900580


A hypothetical case that involves a surgical innovation is used to illustrate three ethical issues in surgery: the profound trust that vulnerable patients feel toward their surgeons, even when they innovate; the disequilibrating effect of new procedures on traditional safeguards of surgical competence; and the need for a systematic approach to the evaluation of new surgical procedures.

Copyright information

© by the Société Internationale de Chirurgie 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin F. McKneally
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, The Toronto Hospital, Joint Centre for Bioethics, 77 Forest Grove Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2K 1Z4CA