No longer the stuff of science fiction, robotic surgery has now entered the realm of reality – and so has the potential for robotic surgery malpractice. Many remember decades ago talking about robots soon accomplishing many tasks traditionally thought of only being able to be accomplished by humans.
Even the medical industry was in on the brainstorming process considering many advantages of using robots within a healthcare facility. Through much research and development, robots are now here, and they are being utilized throughout many sectors of the medical industry, many of which most people will never be aware of. At the same time, however, there is renewed concern over the number of defective drugs and medical devices making their way to the market today, and this has crept into the way that robots are used as well.
Renewed Concerns over Robots Performing Surgery
Many people are fearful when needing to see the doctor. This is particularly true if they know that something is wrong with them that will need to be fixed.
This anxiety is certainly understandable, and nurses and doctors are well trained to deal with them. Adding surgery into the mix, however, is enough to make even the calmest of individuals among us a bit anxious. If a robot is to perform part of the surgery, this anxiety will certainly need to be quelled.
The idea of robots completing tasks in a factory, or even helping with work around the house, is not so far fetched and many people have already embraced the idea. Understanding how robots can perform vital surgical techniques, however, is a leap that many are simply finding difficult to make.
Da Vinci robot surgery has been around for years now, but there have recently been many causes for concern that have threatened to shatter the integrity of the entire industry. To be clear, robots have entered onto the scene not to replace doctors, and certainly not to make their life easier.
The fact is that robots have proven quite useful in performing certain medical procedures much better than even the most skilled of physicians can do. The reality is that humans make mistakes. Hands shake, and certain parts of the body often cannot be adequately and safely reached by another individual. For these reasons, and much more, robots have been seen as a possible way to enable people to live even more productive and comfortable lives far into old age.
Difficulties Have Entered into the Robot Scene
Even with all of the breakthroughs in robotic technology, many are beginning to fear that they have not been perfected to the point that they should be used on the grand scale that many have put into place today. There have been too many cases of patients entering into a surgical procedure to be robotically treated only to come out worse than they were before.
According to a report and study conducted by the New York Times, these issues can be attributed directly back to the use of the robots themselves. In fact, if humans were to have performed the surgery directly, it is felt that no adverse effects would have been felt.
An example is given of a woman in Washington that underwent robot-assisted surgery to treat endometriosis. This was to be a fairly routine procedure, but it lasted for 11 hours. Within ten days, the patient was rushed back to the hospital where it was discovered that much damage had occurred as a result of the surgery, resulting in the need for a temporary colostomy, among other procedures. This is just one example of many about why robots are contributing to the fear that defective drugs and medical devices are becoming far too pervasive in our society.