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Ethics in Neurosurgery

Last Updated: October 27, 2019

Ethics in Neurosurgery

Physicians bear a responsibility to “first, do no harm” to their patients. Although the origins of medical ethics are often traced back to Hippocrates, the rapid development of novel technologies and the constraints of health care have prompted ethicists to challenge and contextualize Hippocratic tradition to fit the demands of modern practice.1 Neurosurgery’s reliance on rapid technological innovation has greatly expanded the capability of medicine to heal what were previously difficult-to-treat neurological diseases.

With these technologies, however, come increasingly complex ethical concerns. Neurosurgery’s specific involvement with the most vulnerable part of a person necessitates a complex discussion between the physician and the p...