Ethical Considerations in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Plastic and reconstructive surgeons care for a variety of patients, including those with recent trauma, chronic wounds, and craniofacial anomalies. Ethical questions in plastic and reconstructive surgery routinely involve informed consent, risk disclosure, and the roles of values such as cosmesis and functioning in clinical decision making. The April 2018 issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics also considers plastic and reconstructive surgeons’ potential conflicts of interests in commercial self-promotion and advertising, the roles of some in endorsing aesthetic norms that can be harmful to patients, and standards according to which plastic and reconstructive surgeons should be trained.
Proliferation of innovative procedures and treatments in surgery has led to novel and distinct ethical challenges. Medicine can learn from plastic surgeons’ approaches to informed consent and potentially harmful treatments.
AMA J Ethics. 2018;20(4):349-356. doi:
Devan Stahl, PhD, MDiv and Christian J. Vercler, MD, MA
Social and cultural influences significantly contribute to our conceptions of healthy and pathological anatomy, and surgeons play critical roles in how these influences are expressed in clinical settings and social media.
AMA J Ethics. 2018;20(4):384-391. doi: