The Ethics of Prophylactic Antibodies for Neurosurgical Procedures
Journal of Medical Ethics 2002 December; 28(6): 358-363
The prophylactic use of antibiotics has become a routine procedure in many areas of medicine. In neurosurgery, however, there is considerable debate over their use in the prevention of postoperative infection. We pose several ethical questions about antibiotic prophylaxis in a neurosurgical setting. These questions are discussed under the following categories: responsible usage of antibiotics; the ethical dilemmas of controlled, antibiotic clinical trials, and some problems inherent in not using prophylactic antibiotics.
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