Book review: Surgical Ethics
- By: Michael Baum
I started reading this book in a week that the medical profession was being pilloried because of several high profile cases of doctors passing through the disciplinary process of the General Medical Council. That week was also associated with the publication of a report by a distinguished barrister, claiming that consultant surgeons were being treated like gods.
I wrote to the Times explaining that after 30 years as a consultant surgeon I could confirm that surgeons were indeed treated like gods. We are expected to perform miracles with inadequate resources and to mate. rialise in several places at the same time because of inadequate staffing levels. Perhaps I should have added that we must also adjudicate on who should live and who should die, and other such ethical questions.
Surgical Ethics has 19 chapters, coauthored by pairs or triplets of practising surgeons and professional bioethicists. The authors admit to an