During the final day of the 28th Annual EAU Congress, which will take place on 15-19 March 2013 in Milan, the European Association of Urology will release its official policy statement on live surgery ethics. The statement and accompanying commentary will be delivered by Mr. Keith Parsons (Liverpool, UK), who chairs the EAU Guidelines Office and is a member of the working panel which was tasked with formulating the policy.
Chaired by Prof. Walter Artibani, EAU Executive Member Science, the live surgery working panel has been developing the policy since March 2012.
The presentation is scheduled for the final session in the scientific programme of the event, which will include some of the most pressing discussions and late breaking news lectures.
Mr. Parsons says that this initiative was prompted when it became evident that various societies worldwide were abandoning live surgical events.
"The discussion also arose from the fact that the EAU and its sections remain of the view that live surgery can be a very useful tool for the propagation of surgical ideas and techniques, and for the dissemination of information," he explained.
"The main goal of such policy is for the EAU to be able to ensure that every possible effort is taken at every stage of a live surgery event to make the procedure safe for the patients. It is also to make sure that many other issues - which might in the exuberance of wanting to put on a good demonstration be overlooked, have sufficient regard taken of them".
Mr. Parsons emphasised that the policy is not the end goal of the initiative, albeit a vital step. The group will continue to work on a number of long-term objectives.
First of all, they aim to develop a mechanism that will ensure a uniformity of approach in all EAU-approved live surgery events.
Secondly, a cumulative database will be populated to give concrete evidence about the outcomes and complications of live surgery, which in a structured way will be compared with procedures that are not performed under such circumstances.
"It is very important that we test our hypothesis that live surgical events do deliver what we intuitively think they do - in terms of educational value, and that the safety of the patients is not in any way compromised," stressed Mr. Parsons, who will fully outline the policy statement during the session, and explain its various implications on the work of the EAU.