Articles

Robot-Assisted Surgery: An Analysis of the Legal and Economic Implications

Author: Helen Witharm (University of Arizona)

  • Robot-Assisted Surgery: An Analysis of the Legal and Economic Implications

    Articles

    Robot-Assisted Surgery: An Analysis of the Legal and Economic Implications

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Abstract

The legal and economic issues that arise as a result of including artificial surgery in the medical field will be analyzed. The questions of liability will be addressed by exploring how to define surgical robots in legal terms, including artificial agents and electronic personhood. The incorporation of additional parties in surgical procedures complicates attributing responsibility, and court cases involving such complications are discussed. In the past, failed surgeries were the fault of the surgeon and hospital and rarely any other parties. Now that surgeon-operated surgical robots are being used to assist in procedures, software engineers, manufacturers, and machine producers can also be held liable for any malpractice. Finally, the financial component of purchasing this technology is contrasted with the benefits and revenue achieved with robot-assisted surgery. A number of surgical robots, such as probes used in procedures like endoscopies and bronchoscopies, aren’t used for incisions and are usually less expensive and entail less liability. Another selection of surgical robots are used as tools controlled by the surgeon for performing procedures; these machines can cost millions and face more legal liability. Robot-assisted surgery can cause higher efficiency, shorter recovery times, and minimal scarring, but it also raises legal and financial questions regarding the risk and feasibility of incorporating surgical robots into the medical field.

Keywords: liability, economics, artificial intelligence, surgical robots

How to Cite:

Witharm, H., (2022) “Robot-Assisted Surgery: An Analysis of the Legal and Economic Implications”, Arizona Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 8, p.19-29.

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Published on
13 May 2022
Peer Reviewed