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Zelbst, Holmes & Butler

Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers

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Study shows robot can perform surgery

| May 23, 2016 | Medical Malpractice |

Oklahoma patients may not be aware that doctors are moving towards using robots that have the ability to make informed decisions based on the data they are given in surgeries. While it makes sense that robots, particularly ones that can make decisions, are becoming more prevalent, it has yet to be seen if humans may allow these robots to operate on them in the future.

A study that was conducted by surgeons at a children’s hospital in the District of Columbia showed that an autonomous robot could perform surgery. Although the robot was supervised, it was able to stitch a pig’s bowels together during the procedure. In fact, it appears that it actually did a better job than a human surgeon could do. The associate surgeon in chief at the hospital stated that the robot was not meant to replace human surgeons but could assist with showing how things should be done during complex surgeries.

Surgeons already regularly use robots to assist in some cases. For example, the da Vinci Surgical System assists with complex surgeries while other robots help reach tumors that are not easily accessed. However, there are still ethical questions that need to be answered regarding whether or not autonomous robots will be allowed to take charge, especially when human lives may be at stake.

Human errors can cause serious complications regardless of whether a patient is undergoing a routine procedure or a risky one. If a person is harmed by a surgical error that could have been prevented, legal counsel can often make a determination as to whether a financial settlement should be pursued with the hospital’s insurance carrier.

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