The noble cause of medicine – fact or fallacy?

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M de Roubaix


The aim of the article is threefold: to argue and motivate that unnecessary surgery is a worldwide phenomenon, that it exposes patients to unwarranted risks and that patients should actively participate in decision-making and take a shared responsibility to protect their interests. There is a firm belief that the enterprise of medicine is something of value – both intrinsically because being healthy is good and instrumentally since being healthy allows us to do what we wish to, to attain happiness and to live valuable lives. However, this can only hold if treatment is justified in terms of accepted evidence-based criteria. Imperative for all forms of treatment, including costly and invasive investigations, this is particularly true for surgical interventions because no surgery is without risk. Surgery performed outside of the norms of accepted indications constitutes a grave form of assault. Medicine is a noble cause if we stick to the rules and help each other to do so. As professionals, our most fundamental regulation is by ourselves.

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How to Cite
The noble cause of medicine – fact or fallacy?. (2024). South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 17(1), e1991.

How to Cite

The noble cause of medicine – fact or fallacy?. (2024). South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 17(1), e1991.


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