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Ethics in burns surgery: when is enough, enough?

Victor Kong

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2012.039


Abstract

Patients with extensive burns injuries are often given a poor prognosis. Those who survive after an initial early resuscitation phase often require extensive operative and critical care input, a prolonged hospital stay, and associated significant complications. The overwhelmingly high volume of patients already using the resource-stricken burns care service places extreme pressure on clinicians in respect of decisions they make about who should and should not be resuscitated. In this paper, we present the case of a young woman who sustained significant burn injuries, and discuss the ethical dilemmas encountered during the subsequent management of her care.

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