Bioethics Blogs

Surgeons Refuse to Treat Addicts

Cardiac surgeons are seeing a 50 percent increase in ineffective valvular heart disorders attributed to the use of dirty needles. The cost is staggering: more than $500,000 for the procedure and hospital stay for an uninsured addict, many of whom are back on the operating table within a few months, suffering from the same infections.

Surgeons across Florida, already stretched thin by the problem, are stepping back, saying they will operate on an addict once, maybe twice. (Tampa Tribune)

Legally, this is far less complicated than refusing life-sustaining treatment in the ICU.  The surgeon may not yet have formed a treatment relationship with the patient.  And she hardly ever has a duty to create one.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.