March 20, 1996
Media Contact: John Cramer
Phone: (410) 955-1534
Johns Hopkins will host a conference on Ethical Dilemmas in Contemporary Surgery from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 23 in Tilghman Auditorium in the Ross Building at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Physicians and surgeons will present case studies for discussion by panelists and audience members.
Ethical dilemmas may be increasing because of medicine's growing ability to sustain life and the renewed emphasis that physicians and patients place on making shared decisions in difficult situations that often have no single "right" answer, says Charles Cummings, M.D., one of the conference's organizers and the chairman of otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery.
"We're undergoing tremendous changes in health care decision-making, biomedical and surgical technology and teaching surgery," says Cummings. "This revolution brings forward a whole new menu of ethical issues. Who gets an organ transplant? Is it right for managed care organizations to withhold surgery or dictate the type of surgery? When a conventional surgeon takes a weekend course to learn a new endoscopic procedure, how can the public be sure he's competent?"