BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):1-9 (2019)

Daniel Rodger
London South Bank University
Bruce P. Blackshaw
University of Birmingham
Animal-derived constituents are frequently used in anaesthesia and surgery, and patients are seldom informed of this. This is problematic for a growing minority of patients who may have religious or secular concerns about their use in their care. It is not currently common practice to inform patients about the use of animal-derived constituents, yet what little empirical data does exist indicates that many patients want the opportunity to give their informed consent. First, we review the nature and scale of the problem by looking at the groups who may have concerns about the use of animal-derived constituents in their care. We then summarise some of the products used in anaesthesia and surgery that can contain such constituents, such as anaesthetic drugs, surgical implants and dressings. Finally, we explore the problem of animal-derived constituents and consent using Beauchamp and Childress’ four principles approach, examining issues of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence and justice. Disclosing the use of animal-derived constituents in anaesthesia and surgery is warranted under Beauchamp and Childress’ four principles approach to the problem. Although there exist systemic and practical challenges to implementing this in practice, the ethical case for doing so is strong. The Montgomery ruling presents additional legal reason for disclosure because it entails that patients must be made aware of risks associated with their treatment that they attach significance to.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1186/s12910-019-0351-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consent for Anaesthesia.S. M. White - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (3):286-290.
Consent for Anaesthesia in Cataract Surgery.S. Kashani - 2006 - Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (9):555-555.
The Process of Informed Consent for Urgent Abdominal Surgery.R. Kay - 2001 - Journal of Medical Ethics 27 (3):157-161.
Relational Autonomy and Multiculturalism.Fabrizio Turoldo - 2010 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 19 (4):542-549.


Added to PP index

Total views
176 ( #65,763 of 2,499,678 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
25 ( #34,803 of 2,499,678 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes