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Comment & Response |

Surgeon’s Responsibility for Patient Care—Reply ONLINE FIRST

Michael Nurok, MBChB, PhD1; Nicholas Sadovnikoff, MD2; Bruce Gewertz, MD3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles, California
2Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
3Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
JAMA Surg. Published online August 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.2357
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In Reply Far from being marginalized, the surgeon’s role on the health care team is both critical and central because only the surgeon is aware of all elements of the operation. In this regard, Dr Reiling raises important points about responsibility and teamwork in an era of increasingly complex care.

The concept of responsibility is invested with both legal and ethical meanings. From a legal perspective, anyone caring for a patient may be held responsible for adverse outcomes.1 From an ethical perspective, we acknowledge that a surgeon has a unique relationship with a patient owing in part to the constellation of events and interactions that evolve as a result of a decision to undergo surgery.2

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August 17, 2016
Richard B. Reiling, MD
1Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio
JAMA Surg. Published online August 17, 2016.;():. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.2354.
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