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ETHICS IN MEDICINE   University of Washington School of Medicine

Interdisciplinary Team Issues:
Case 2

A 28-year-old woman presents for diagnostic laparoscopy for pelvic pain. During laparoscopy, the surgeon announces that she intends to proceed to hysterectomy for multiple uterine myomata. The anesthesiologist then declares that he will "wake the patient up" rather than allow the surgeon to proceed, due to lack of consent for the procedure, and questionable medical necessity.

Can the anesthesiologist "tell" the surgeon what to do?
Who is in charge when two physicians on the team disagree?

Discussion

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