Ethical considerations in targeted paediatric neurosurgery missions

Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (1):51-54 (2013)
Abstract
Within the context of global health development approaches, surgical missions to provide care for underserved populations remain the least studied interventions with regard to their methodology. Because of the unique logistical needs of delivering operative care, surgical missions are often described solely in terms of cases performed, with a paucity of discourse on medical ethics. Within surgery, subspecialties that serve patients on a non-elective basis should, it could be argued, create mission strategies that involve a didactic approach and the propagation of sustainable surgical care. The ethical considerations have yet to be described for paediatric neurosurgical outreach missions. We present here the perspectives of neurosurgeons who have participated in surgical outreach missions in Central America, South America, Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa from the vantage point of both the visiting mission team and the host team that accommodates the mission efforts
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