Should neurosurgeons continue to work in the absence of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 era?

January 20, 2021

Marleen Eijkholt, Alexander Hulsbergen, Ivo Muskens, Tiit Illimar Mathiesen, Ciaran Bolger, Zeev Feldman, Neil Kitchen, Nicolás Samprón, Ulrika Sandvik, Magnus Tisell & Marike Broekman

Acta Neurochir (Wien)

To treat or not to treat? In all specialties around the world this has become a very complex question. This article discusses particular aspects surrounding this question and its response. Showing the meaningful dialogue that ethics, society, and the medical world have. Social contracts on medical duty do have their limits. Therefore, health professionals (HCPs) have a legitimate right to take a moment to consider whether they really want to take the risks that continue to serve for themselves and their families. The authors focus on neurosurgery and emphasize how both the duration and the nature of neurosurgical procedures demand appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The precise development and discussion of duties in times of PPE shortage during this pandemic in this text provide a more meaningful and perhaps fairer understanding of the respect that should exist in any context for the rights of both patients and physicians. Clinical decision making is an ongoing practical exercise of ethics. Therefore, this article rightly states on more than one occasion that it is not something PS should have to do alone.

Eijkholt M, Hulsbergen A, Muskens I, et al. Should neurosurgeons continue to work in the absence of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 era? [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jan 20]. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2021;1-6. doi:10.1007/s00701-021-04703-8

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