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Remote/robotic surgery - Essay Example

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Name Date Section # Remote/Robotic Surgery A. Is this legal At this juncture, remote surgery is legal in all fifty United States; however, the commonality of its usage is restricted to a few special cases. This restriction is due to the fact of its overall rarity and expense rather than current laws restricting its use and or application…
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Remote/robotic surgery
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Download file to see previous pages Not only will medical professionals be responsible for any mistakes that are made while a remote surgery is in process, they could also face the specter of being liable for any malfunction of any given part of the apparatus; whereas before they were solely responsible for their own malpractice and the potential malpractice of their attending staff. This brings us to the second question with regards to legality - responsibility for errors that might occur. B. Who is responsible for errors? Although liability costs have already been discussed, this is a far cry from ascribing responsibility to who and what for any mishaps that may occur during a remote surgery. The fact of the matter is, at this point, no one truly knows what entity might be held responsible for any malpractice lawsuits that may occur as a result of a botched operation. The actors to consider include to name a few: the surgeon, the team of helpers on location, the hospital, the anesthetist, the manufacturer of the remote surgical hardware, or the communications provider that provides the remote link between doctor and patient (Cisco, 1992). At this point of technological development of remote/robotic surgery, it remains unclear as to what entity or individual is ultimately responsible for any mishaps that might occur during the process and cause harm or distress to the patient. This is doubtless partly the case because of the diversified nature of current remote/robotic surgical procedures. Although the surgeon should be liable at any one step of the process, his responsibilities are housed under an umbrella of different responsible entities and actors. It stands to reason therefore that the surgeon himself cannot be responsible for a power outage at his location which interrupts the operation of the remote surgical interface. Likewise, the surgeon cannot be wholly responsible for any malfunctions in the communications link that relays information from the surgeon to the remote device and the patient who is being treated (Telecommunications Union, 1999). Similarly, the surgeon cannot be responsible for any faulty or erroneous programming that is encoded to the remote surgical device software which operates the system. Furthermore, there is a decided breakdown in communication that exists when the surgeon is performing remote and robotic surgery from a distance. Lastly, it is worth noting the other pitfalls of remote surgical procedures that have not been noted up until this point. Firstly, without a surgeon present, the nursing and technical staff will have difficulty, if not find it impossible, to read the surgeons motives and interpret his movements. Anyone that has spent time in an operating room will notice that the team of people responsible for sustaining the patient during the process uses both verbal and nonverbal communication to express their needs. Accordingly with nonverbal communication not a possibility during remote surgical procedures, the staff is left without a firm handle on the needs of the surgeon or attending physician. Although this is not a massive impediment to the administration of successful medical care, it is enough to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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