Dr Birkholz led an interactive discussion-based ethics session entitled:
When is trauma complex? Should everyone be treating trauma?
The basic principles of medical ethics and the concept of different levels of complexity in orthopaedic trauma were introduced.The discussion centered around how trauma surgery is often performed by the available surgeon, irrespective of how complex it is, and often with very little peer review or control mechanisms. The delegates looked at how ethics principles applied to specific case examples.
A second ethics session considered how the fracture burden on society is large and increasing. Resources are limited and getting progressively more scarce.Against this background, how do orthopaedic surgeons continue to render appropriate levels of care to everyone?
These questions raised various ethical dilemmas related to concepts like legal obligation, distributive justice, patient autonomy etc. These conflicts and realities were explored by way of case examples and an interactive discussion based on medical ethics principles.