Moral Distress in Neurosurgery

It is difficult to predict the outcome of the surgery, so the choice to operate or not to operate often generates moral distress in the doctor who makes it. I go with my gut when deciding whether or not to operate, but always, in the back of my mind, the circumstances stir up doubt. What if I’m wrong? Is it in the patient’s best interest to put him through surgery if the chance of meaningful recovery is vanishingly small? Yet, not taking this chance guarantees his death.


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