Ethical Issues in Cardiothoracic Surgery

  • Richard I. WhyteEmail author
  • Douglas E. Wood


The field of cardiothoracic surgery shares many moral principles and related ethical challenges with other branches of surgery but must deal with them in contexts unique to the specialty. Ethical issues that are currently under active discussion and debate in the cardiothoracic surgical community include professionalism; the need to balance the multiple professional responsibilities such as duty to patient, duty to employer, and duties to trainees; the use, and potential misuse, of national quality databases; the oversight of innovation; and futile, end-of-life, and withdrawal of care. Such issues will be reviewed in the context of both duty-based and consequentialist ethical frameworks.


Ethics Bioethics Professionalism Innovation End-of-life care Surgical outcomes Databases 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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