Addressing Within-Role Conflicts of Interest in Surgery

Wendy Rogers, Jane Johnson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper we argue that surgeons face a particular kind of within-role conflict of interests, related to innovation. Within-role conflicts occur when the conflicting interests are both legitimate goals of professional activity. Innovation is an integral part of surgical practice but can create within-role conflicts of interest when innovation compromises patient care in various ways, such as by extending indications for innovative procedures or by failures of informed consent. The standard remedies for conflicts of interest are transparency and recusal, which are unlikely to address this conflict, in part because of unconscious bias. Alternative systemic measures may be more effective, but these require changes in the culture of surgery and accurate identification of surgical innovation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-225
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Bioethical Inquiry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • Conflicts of interest
    • Ethics
    • Surgery
    • Surgical innovation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Addressing Within-Role Conflicts of Interest in Surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this