Tuesday Congress highlight: Ethics of live surgery

07 February 2013

The final day of the congress, 19 March, reserves some of the most fascinating, insightful and controversial presentations. The only session on the day’s programme, it will bring the important key messages on most of the subspecialty topics in urology by the EAU Congress Office. This will culminate in a series of high-profile lectures: from “New urological weapons in the treatment of CRPC” by Prof. A. Heidenreich, to late breaking news on the Zeus study by Prof. M. Wirth. Among these highly anticipated presentations is the one which will announce and detail the new EAU policy statement on live surgery ethics – to be delivered by Mr. Keith Parsons (Liverpool, GB).

Mr. Parsons, who chairs the EAU Guidelines Office, says that this initiative was prompted when it became evident that various societies worldwide were abandoning live surgical events.

“The discussion also arose from the fact that the EAU and its sections remain of the view that live surgery can be a very useful tool for the propagation of surgical ideas and techniques, and for the dissemination of information,” he explained. “The main goal of such policy is for the EAU to be able to ensure that every possible effort is taken at every stage of a live surgery event to make the procedure safe for the patients. It is also to make sure that many other issues – which might in the exuberance of wanting to put on a good demonstration be overlooked, have sufficient regard taken of them”.

Mr. Parsons emphasised that the statement policy is not the end goal of the initiative, albeit a vital step. The group will continue to work on a number of long-term objectives.

Firstly, they aim to develop a mechanism that will ensure a uniformity of approach in all EAU-approved live surgery events.  Secondly, a cumulative database will be populated to give concrete evidence about the outcomes and complications of live surgery, which in a structured way will be compared with procedures that are not performed under such circumstances.

“It is very important that we test our hypothesis that live surgical events do deliver what we intuitively think they do – in terms of educational value, and that the safety of the patients is not in any way compromised,” stressed Mr. Parsons, who will fully outline the policy statement during the session, and explain its various implications on the work of the EAU.

The session will take place on Tuesday, 19 March 2013, from 08:00 to 13:10 in the eURO Auditorium on Level S2.

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