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:
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
Robotic and Computer guided are used interchangeably
The surgeries are less invasive than open surgeries
daVinci system has three components
Robotic Cart with arms that hold the instruments
3D Vision system
Surgeons movements are scaled down into micro-movements
prostate cancer surgery
Mitral heart valve surgery
Smaller Incisions – smaller scars
Shorter hospital stay – Quicker recovery
Less blood loss
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, patients and society at large on the Four evolving health telematics: a. electronic health records
b. transmission of visual media in disciplines such as teleradiology, teledermatology, telepathology and teleophthalmology c. telesurgery and robotics and
d. the use of call centers and decision-support software VII. Concerns about the dazzling speed at which technology is developing a
Robots being empowered to make moral and ethical decisions b
Overcoming legal and licensing barriers before telesurgery becomes clinically practicable VIII. Reasonable Human Concerns of facing the consequences of an uncontrolled and unprepared future of intellectual robots at work in the following fields: a
Concerns that robots will soon outsmart humans; while humans compute at 4 × 10 computations per second (cps), robots compute at 3.5 x 10 cps. Thus the following looming questions
Will computer/robots/machines soon be more intelligent than humans? And if so, can humans communicate with them?
Will they remember that humans made them?
Will they even need us humans anymore
If they are intelligent, will we be able to pull the plug X.
Concerns of robots making life-or-death decisions in unpredictable situations, thus assuming—or at least appearing to assume—moral agency * XI.
The urgency of providing answers to questions regarding moral and ethical issues to clarify human doubts so that they will enjoy the benefits that robots in surgery supposedly will bring. XII
Social Issues of Robitics in Surgery
New medical technology changes things socially for patient and doctor * The need to fully disclose all aspects to the patient to obtain informed consent * Doctor self-improvement through life-long learning to ensure the highest quality of service for the...
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