AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. January 2015, Volume 17, Number 1.

Ethics Poll

It Is Brain Surgery

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Neurosurgical intervention to place permanent electrodes in select spots in the brain (deep brain stimulation, or DBS) is being used to control motor and seizure disorders and intractable psychiatric symptoms. Some project that the technique could be used in future to enhance cognitive ability and alter behavior. Which of the following best describes how you feel about these uses and possible future use of DBS?
Do you think that surgeons should be required to tell patients the extent of their experience with a procedure they are about to perform on that patient?
Would knowing the level of a physician's or resident's experience in performing a procedure you needed alter your decision about allowing that person to perform the procedure on you?
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.