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Robotic Surgery

The ethics of robotic surgery is a multi-faceted topic of debate with many different viewpoints all worthy of deeper exploration and consideration. Medicine is ever-changing due to major technological innovations and government regulations. With all these changing factors in medicine, the focus should always be to provide the best possible care for the end user, or the patients. Is robotic surgery the best way to provide for the end user? There are many concerns and questions that may arise from robotics in medicine. Here is a short list of some hot-button topics in the current environment of healthcare.


The use of robotics in surgery has had profound impacts on the way we have done medicine in today’s world. We will explore five of the issues that robotic surgery has had specific impacts on:

1) Social
2) Technical
3) Moral
4) Cultural
5) Ethical

Robotic Surgery
I. History
1st non-laparoscopic case was in 1985
1st laparoscopic case was in 1987
1993 AESOP 1st robot approved for surgery by FDA
daVinci approved for laparoscopic surgery in 2000
SOCRATES 1st telecollaboration surgery in 2001
II. Technology
Robotic and Computer guided are used interchangeably
The surgeries are less invasive than open surgeries
daVinci system has three components
Surgeons Console
Robotic Cart with arms that hold the instruments
3D Vision system
Surgeons movements are scaled down into micro-movements
Used in:
prostate cancer surgery
Mitral heart valve surgery
III. Pros
Smaller Incisions – smaller scars
Shorter hospital stay – Quicker recovery
Less blood loss

IV. Cons
Longer training for surgeons
Cases are longer during training
Costs per procedure are higher
V. Moral and Ethical Implications of Robotic Surgery
Addressing moral (human rights) and ethical issues raised by robots in surgery VI. The moral and ethical implications for clinicians,...
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