Obstetrics & Gynecology

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Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000437384.88715.03
College Publications

Committee Opinion No. 578: Elective Surgery and Patient Choice

Committee Opinions List of Titles
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Abstract

ABSTRACT: Acknowledgment of the importance of patient autonomy and increased patient access to information, such as information on the Internet, has prompted more patient-generated requests for surgical interventions not traditionally recommended. Depending on the context, acceding to a request for a surgical option that is not traditionally recommended can be ethical. Decisions about acceding to patient requests for nontraditional surgical interventions should be based on strong support for patients’ informed preferences and values; understood in the context of an interpretive conversation; and consistent with considerations of safety, cost-effectiveness, and attention to effects on the health care system of expanded choice. Physicians should make sure that their counseling about specific risks and benefits is based on current evidence. After the physician has provided information and careful counseling, the patient and physician will often reach a mutually acceptable decision. If the patient and physician cannot reach an agreement, then referral or second opinion may be appropriate.

© 2013 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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