"...I emphasize that no one else can understand the anxiety of going to bed at night and realizing what must be done in the operating room in the morning. I believe that no one else can identify with the situation in the operating room when we "burn the bridge" and must go forward, unable to turn back, but with no clear end in sight. Yet in surgery we allow the community, our students, and our nonsurgical collegues to perpetuate the myth that we are only technicians. All of us have been confronted with the type of surgical challenge in which I found myself; all of us know that our sense of responsibility and emotional commitment go far beyond that of a mere technician.
So the advice from this old surgeon is for all of us to get involved and learn the principles of medical and surgical ethics. We should learn to teach them in relationship to what we know and cherish, and, as I have, to experience the joy of seeing our patients, their families, and our students relish what we do so well and have found of value for our entire careers..."
Ira J Kodner, DM, FACS
Surgeons and Ethics: You Bet!