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ARTICLE |

Who Is Captain of the Anesthesia Ship?

JEROME H. MODELL, MD
Arch Surg. 1986;121(7):753. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1986.01400070019002.
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ABSTRACT

Many surgeons prefer to limit their practices to their specialties, whereas others maintain they should control the anesthetic management of their patients as well. The question of which of these practices should be preferred by surgeons has been discussed in the past primarily on emotional grounds that have to do with the idea of being captain of the ship. The concept that the surgeon is captain of the ship has come under attack from two directions; one is the debate among physicians, and the other is the forces of our legal system. The latter force requires examination.

When a lawsuit is filed by a patient alleging negligent anesthetic care, few surgeons want to assume responsibility for the alleged wrongdoing and would rather defer to an anesthesiologist. While the medical liability for anesthetic management is determined by the courts on an individual basis, there are several scenarios to contemplate. Each likely

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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