Emerging ethical issues in pediatric surgery
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- Nwomeh, B.C. & Caniano, D.A. Pediatr Surg Int (2011) 27: 555. doi:10.1007/s00383-011-2907-3
With the rapid pace of technological advancement and changing political, social, and legal attitudes, physicians face new ethical dilemmas. For pediatric surgeons, these emerging issues affect our relationship with, and the care we provide, to our patients and their families. In this review, we explore issues related to professionalism in pediatric surgery practice, the value of apology, and the risks associated with sleep deprivation. Furthermore, we discuss how the imperative of patient safety presents an opportunity for specialty-driven effort to define standards for the surgical care of children and a responsible process for introducing surgical innovations. Finally, we remind pediatric surgeons of their ethical and professional duty to support clinical research, and advocate the acceptance of community equipoise as sufficient basis for enrolling children in clinical trials.