, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 196-201
Date: 07 Jun 2014

Moral Obligations in Head and Neck Allo-Transplantation Innovation

Abstract

When a major surgical innovation such as head and neck allo-transplantation has the potential for generalizable applicability, the ethics of research govern its development, use, assessment, and early promulgation. Research ethics requires that the science of the research be rigorous in terms of conduct and assessment in order to created reliable unbiased evidence. However, because such research requires human subjects, ethical constraints must be in place for their protection. In head and neck allo-transplantation, this requires an orientation that differs from clinical practice as well as from what is found in research on established procedures. This different orientation impacts more than just the surgical team. It also involves those responsible for subject assessment and protection, study intervention parameters, overview, and data analysis. This paper discusses why such an altered approach is required, how to operationalize it, and some of the difficulties in doing so.