Ethical Concerns in Dental Surgery
Ethical concerns involve not only the interests of patients, but also the interests of surgeons and society. Surgeons choose among the options available to them because they have particular opinions regarding what would be good (or bad) for their patients.
Ethics and surgical intervention must go hand in hand. In any other arena of public or private life, if someone deliberately cuts another person, draws blood, causes pain, leaves scars and disrupts everyday activity, then the likely result will be a criminal charge. If the person dies as a result, the charge could be manslaughter or even murder. Of course, it will be correctly argued that the difference between the criminal and the surgeon is that the latter causes harm only incidentally. The surgeon’s intention is to cure or manage illness, and any bodily invasion that it incurs is only with the permission of the patient.
Medicine asks: “What can be done for the patient?”
Ethics asks: “What should be done for the patient?”