American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Editors: Editors Alberto R. Ferreres, MD, PhD, MPH, JD, FACS (Hon.); Peter Angelos, MD, PhD, FACS; and Eric A. Singer, MD, MA, FACS
Associate Editor: Patrice Gabler Blair, MPH

Ethical Issues in Surgical Care


Ethical Issues in Surgical Care, is a definitive textbook on ethical issues in surgical practice. This unique resource defines the field of surgical ethics as it has evolved over the past decade, provides a foundation for understanding many of the central ethical issues in surgical practice, and organizes the essential principles in a practical way that promotes application to surgical care. The book was developed under the auspices of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education and the Committee on Ethics.

The 21 chapters are written by experts in surgical ethics and focus on the unique circumstances of surgeons and the practice of surgery. The chapters are organized by the broad areas of

  • General considerations
  • The surgeon-patient relationship
  • The surgeon and the surgical profession
  • The surgeon and society

Case scenarios are included to ground the ethical discussions in the realities of clinical practice.

How to order

Chapter Titles

Part I: General Considerations

  1. What Is Distinctive about Surgical Ethics?
  2. The History and Development of Surgical Ethics
  3. Surgical Professionalism and Competence
  4. The Ethical Duties and Obligations of a Surgeon
  5. The Ethics of Surgical Judgment and Uncertainty
  6. The Ethics of Surgical Education
  7. A Toolbox for Surgical Ethics

Part II: The Surgeon-Patient Relationship

  1. The Surgeon-Patient Relationship: Implications and Transformations
  2. The Surgical Informed Consent Process
  3. Disclosures in Surgical Care: Errors, Surgeon’s Experience, Conflicts of Interest, and Truth Telling
  4. End-of-Life Issues: How to Respect Patients’ Wishes and Prevent Futility

Part III: The Surgeon and the Surgical Profession

  1. Ethical Issues in Surgical Innovation
  2. Conflicts of Interest in Relationships with Industry
  3. Ethics in Surgical Research and Publication
  4. Ethics of the Mentor-Mentee Relationship
  5. How to Teach Surgical Ethics
  6. The Role of the American College of Surgeons in Promoting Surgical Ethics

Part IV: The Surgeon and Society

  1. The Surgeon and the Health Care System
  2. Ethical Aspects of the Management of Organ Transplant Patients
  3. Global Surgical Ethics Challenges: Access, Inequity, Fairness, and Lack of Resources
  4. Ethics and Error in the Surgical Domain

Additional Information

If you have questions, please contact ACS Customer Service at 312-202-5474 or Patrice Gabler Blair, MPH, Associate Director, ACS Division of Education, at