Surgery on a Relative

Doctor Zoe is the most experienced surgeon in a surgical subspecialty. Her husband has developed an illness and is found to require a difficult surgery in Dr Zoe’s specialty. The most suitable person to perform the needed surgery is Dr Zoe herself.

Dr Zoe decides that she will be the surgeon rather than risk her husband at the hands of a less experienced colleague and seeks advice from the Hospital Ethics Committee on the ethical appropriateness of the proposed plan.