Ethics in Practice   |    
Ghost Surgery: The Ethical and Legal Implications of Who Does the Operation
Mininder S. Kocher, MD, MPH
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2002 Jan 01;84(1):148-150
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Case 1: A patient who is rehospitalized for complications after shoulder arthroscopy discovers that his surgeon’s partner performed the operation. The orthopaedists contend that they practice as a "team," deciding who does the specific case just prior to the operation1.

Case 2: Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is performed by a resident. The attending orthopaedist scrubs briefly and then leaves to perform a simultaneous procedure in another room. The patient has a postoperative complication2.

Case 3: Carpal tunnel release is performed by a resident, under the supervision of an attending orthopaedist who has been present for the entire case and who has introduced the resident as his assistant in the informed-consent process. The median nerve is injured by the resident3.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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