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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeremiah G. Turcotte, MD (University of Michigan Medical School)
Description: This is the first textbook devoted exclusively to ethical issues in surgery, and it provides a pragmatic clinical guide to this subject for all members of the surgical health care team. The three editors, including one surgeon, are authorities on medical ethics. Each of the 19 chapters is co-authored by a clinician and a bioethicist. The contributors are 40 distinguished faculty members from medical schools throughout the United States.
Purpose: The purpose is to help the surgical team "chart the shifting terrain of surgical ethics so that they can conduct themselves in a morally responsible fashion in patient care, surgical research, and surgical education." The book pursues these important objectives with a brief overview of the principles of medical ethics followed by chapters on a diverse range of ethical scenarios encountered in surgical practice.
Audience: The target audience is surgeons, educators, residents, fellows, medical students, and bioethicists. This book would be appropriate for all members of the surgical health care team.
Features: The editors and contributors present their own views on contemporary ethical issues. Topics include informed consent; confidentiality; advanced directives; care of emergency, high risk, elective, and dying patients; research; and financial relationships with patients, institutions, and managed care. The chapter on physician self regulation is classic. A limited list of references follows each chapter.
Assessment: This excellent, much-needed book serves as a review and a convenient single-source reference to most contemporary ethical issues in surgery. The book would be a valuable addition to the personal libraries of the surgical healthcare team as well as medical school and hospital libraries.