Explore this issue:January 2014
As practitioners of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, we all face ethical dilemmas on a near-daily basis. Only a very small percentage involve major ethical dilemmas such as end-of-life decisions, withdrawal or withholding of assisted life support, organ/facial transplantation, or stem cell technology. And, although the vast majority tend to be less consequential, perhaps, taken in the collective, they reflect our own personal moral compass and adherence to a professional code of ethics. The manner in which we handle the smaller dilemmas that occur in our daily care of patients says a lot about who we are and how closely we demonstrate an acceptable ethos for our behavior, approach to patient care, and professional responsibilities.