Center Assistant Professor Dr. Marleen Eijkholt co-authored the chapter “Ethics in Surgical Research and Publication” in Ethical Issues in Surgical Care, a fall 2017 publication from the American College of Surgeons Division of Education. Dr. Eijkholt’s co-authors are Lance K. Stell, MA, PhD, FACFE, and Richard B. Reiling, MD, FACS.
Chapter summary: Surgical research is the foundation of evidence-based surgical practice. The question “what makes research ethical?” entails particular challenges for surgical research. For example, uncertainty and controversy exist in areas of research methodology, given the unique circumstances of each surgical intervention. Placebo control groups and randomization practices, too, raise major methodological issues in surgical research. This chapter discusses controversies in surgical research and publication thereof. The chapter follows the submission of a hypothetical research study through the institutional review board, to highlight areas of ethical controversy, and describe such issues too for the publication of such studies.
For more information on Ethical Issues in Surgical Care, please visit the American College of Surgeons website.