Defensive Surgery – a New Under-Recognized Reality among Surgeons


In recent years, the number of medical litigations is increasing and defensive medicine becomes a widespread approach among physicians all over the world. Defensive behavior of physicians is more common in scheduled, elective, compared to emergency medical services. The immediate direct consequences of this defensive behavior are found in the increase of costs (additional investigations) and the increase of waiting time for certain procedures and interventions (repeated postponements). Difficult and uncomfortable to admit that it exists, but defensive behavior is a reality. It raises numerous and complex ethical issues, and the goal of health policies should be to reduce this phenomenon.