Ethico-legal regional differences in European neurosurgical practice: Part 1-pre-COVID-19 era

Tiit I Mathiesen, Naci Balak*, Nicolás Samprón, Marike Broekman, Ciarán Bolger, EANS Ethico-legal committee

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


Introduction: Professionalism entails expert knowledge, self-regulation, accountability, and professional ethics. These factors are influenced by culture, political observance, professional maturity, education, and occupation; ethical practices may thus vary between countries and affect how neurosurgery is practiced.

Research question: This paper aims to conduct a survey that addresses whether ethico-legal practices differ in European countries and whether existing ethical guidelines have been implemented.

Material and methods: A questionnaire survey was used to examine the ethico-legal situation in 29 European countries or regions. The reports were validated by representatives of each nation.

Results: Existing guidelines had been implemented to a minimal extent. Major regional and national differences were found in attitudes toward life and death, prioritization, and issues related to professional conduct.

Discussion and conclusion: The results of this survey reveal inadequacies and weaknesses of policies and resources, which should spark national discussions to improve the conditions that influence professional ethics. Unfortunately, only a minority of neurosurgeons know the neurosurgical ethics guidelines and apply them in their decision making. Our findings highlight the importance of values and professional ethics in decision making.

TidsskriftBrain & spine
Sider (fra-til)100899
StatusUdgivet - 2022


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