Ethical Issues in Surgical Care Winter 2020

This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

The ethical issues faced by surgeons have never been more challenging than they are today. As patients have become more sophisticated consumers of medical care, there has been a shift from paternalism to a more participatory model in medical decision-making. We will explore the ethical aspects of the surgeon-patient relationship, as well as the impact of surgical innovations and rapid advances in medical and pharmaceutical discoveries. By examining clinical cases, we will explore the role of legal health care documents on surgical decision-making (Do Not Resuscitate orders, Advanced Treatment Directives, Living Will). We will discuss issues with informed consent, disclosure of errors, conflicts of interest, relationships with industry, experimental procedures, and rationalizing the cost of newer treatments. We will discuss the ethical issues and innovative advances in training surgeons. I will include invited speakers in person or by webchat. This course is designed for both interactive discussions and the development of critical writing skills. We will meet twice a week for 3 hours per day (Mon. and Tues. 10-11:30, 1-2:30) . Students will be expected to write a 1-page paper after the first meeting about what they hope to learn from the course and to list topics that they would like to discuss. We will discuss Dr. Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal. Students will research and write three 4-page papers (one per week),excerpts of which will be discussed in class the following week. Adjunct Bio: Robert Eyre, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology) at Harvard Medical School. He has had an active academic and clinical practice in Boston for 39 years, teaching medical students and surgical residents. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals in addition to authoring many articles and book chapters in the fields of urology and surgery.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 12
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation and three 4-page papers
Prerequisites: open to all students with preference for junior and senior pre-meds
Enrollment Preferences: open to all students with preference for junior and senior pre-meds
Materials/Lab Fee: approximately $12 for books

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