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Ethics Sessions at Thoracic Surgery Meetings

Updated May 2023

AATS: American Association for Thoracic Surgery
STS: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
STSA: Southern Thoracic Surgical Association
WTSA: Western Thoracic Surgical Association

(AATS = American Association for Thoracic Surgery; STS = Society of Thoracic Surgeons; STSA = Southern Thoracic Surgical Association; WTSA = Western Thoracic Surgical Association)

STSA, November 2023: Should a Seemingly Opioid-Impaired Surgeon Be Reported to Authorities? Moderator: Andrea J. Carpenter, MD; Pro: Virginia R. Litle, MD; Con: Shanda Blackmon, MD

AATS, May 2023: Must Subjects Waive the Right to Withdraw from a Xenotransplant Study? Moderator: Robert M. Sade; Pro: Ana Iltis, PhD; Con: Henry Silverman, MD

STS, January 2023: Surgeon or Intensivist: Who Can Best Care for Postoperative Surgery Patients? Moderator: Joseph Zwischenberger; Pro: Andrea Carpenter; Con: Martin Zammert

STSA, November 2022: Mini-symposium: The Boundaries of Professionalism. Moderator: Robert M. Sade; Richard L. Prager: Looking in a Mirror: Surgeon Self-Appraisal Using Data; Robbin G. Cohen: The Inadequacy of Hospital Peer Review: Observations from the Trenches; G. Michael Deeb: Dealing With Unprofessional Physician Behavior: the “Cup of Coffee” Approach; William O. Cooper: Pursuing Professionalism in a Crisis: Lessons from the Pandemic.

AATS, May 2022: Should a Questionably Competent Resident Be Allowed to Continue in the Program? Moderator: Robert M. Sade; Pro: Sanford Zeigler; Con: Sandra Starnes

STSA, November 2021: Smoking and the Bier: Refusing to Operate When the Patient Keeps Smoking. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Stephanie Chang; Con: Mark Orringer

AATS May 2021: Mini-symposium: Measuring competence in cardiothoracic surgeons. Moderators: Robert M. Sade, Trey Entwistle; Speakers: Andrea J Carpenter—Evaluation of Surgical Capabilities Must Be Mandatory; David H Adams—Independent Practice Requires Board Certification; Marc R Moon—Early and Late Career Surgeon Deficiencies in Complex Cases; Christopher M Feindel—Intermittent Surgeon Evaluation Is Needed from Career’s Beginning to End; Todd K Rosengart—Declining Surgical Skills: Planning for Transition.

STS, January 2021: Lung Cancer Screening Should be Suspended During a Pandemic. Moderator: Robert M. Sade, MD; Pro: Frank C. Detterbeck, MD; Con: Douglas E. Wood, MD

STSA, November 2020: Smoking Relapse After Lung Transplantation: Is a Second Transplant Justified? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Klapper ; Con: Denlinger

STS, January 2020: Should Opioid Addicts Have a Second Valve Replacement for Endocarditis? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Eric Roselli; Con: Michael Deeb

STSA, November 2019: Painting a Vivid Picture: Persuasion Versus Manipulation in the Consent Process. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Damien LaPar-Emile A. Bacha; Con: John Mayer, Jr.

WTSA, June 2019: Compensation Models Drive Competitive Behavior and Productivity. Moderator: Richard Whyte; Pro: Vincent Gaudiani; Con: Vaughn Starnes

STS, January 2019: Bespoke Babies: Genome Editing in Cystic Fibrosis Embryos. Moderator: Thomas D’Amico; Pro: Mary Devereaux; Con: Kyle B. Brothers

STSA, November 2018: TAVR for Short Term Benefit, with Social Indications. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Andrea J. Carpenter; Con: William Novick

WTSA, June 2018: Must Surgeons Disclose How Many of a Particular Procedure They Have Done Before Attempting Their First Case? Moderator: Scott Millikan; Pro: Joseph Woo; Con: John Handy 

AATS, May 2018: The Patient Would Rather Die: Should You Let Him? Moderator: Robert M. Sade, MD; Pro: Dov Fox; Con: Joseph Coselli

STS, January 2018: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Neighborly Help or Itinerant Surgery? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: James Allan; Con: Alberto Ferreres

STSA, November 2017: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Battling the Chimera: How Much Disclosure of Rare Risks Is Necessary? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Richard Prager, MD; Con: Gregory Trachiotis, MD

WTSA, June 2017: Ethics and End-of-Life Care: Does Everyone Need High Technology Intervention Before They Die?  Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Nicholas G. Smedira; Con: Richard Whyte    

AATS, May 2017: Final Exit with Medical Help: Should State Law Legitimize Physician-Assisted Suicide? Moderator: Robert M. Sade, MD; Pro: Haider J. Warraich; Con: Robert Sewell

STS, January 2017: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: When a child’s heart is failing. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Minoo Kavarana; Con: Jessica Turnbull

STSA, November 2016: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Should hospital policy forbid surgeons to schedule concurrent cases in the operating room? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Richard Whyte, MD; Con: Vinod Thourani, MD

AATS, May 2016: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Should a surgeon comply with hospital administration’s demand to change valve preference? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Scott Millikan; Con: Robert J. Cusimano, MD

STS, January 2016: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: An advance directive limits postoperative care — should a surgeon accept limits on care? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Constantine Mavroudis; Con: Jeffrey Gaca

STSA, November, 2015: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Families should be invited to be present during cardiopulmonary resuscitations. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Karen Brasel; Con: John Entwistle

AATS, April 2015: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Should a physician inform an innocent contact about HIV exposure, against state law? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Richard Whyte; Con: Steve O’Neill

STS, January 2015: Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Are attending surgeons in residency programs obligated to allow thoracic surgery residents to operate on their patients so the residents can achieve their ABTS requirements? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Richard Ohye; Con: James Jaggers

STSA, November, 2014; Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum: Should a thoracic surgeon transfer a complicated case to a competing medical center against the hospital's order? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Jennifer Ellis; Con: Kathleen Fenton

AATS, April 2014: Ethics Forum: Can a physician ever justifiably euthanize a severely disabled newborn? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Udo Schuklenk; Con: Gilbert Meilaender

STS, January 2014: Ethics Forum: Another surgeon’s error — must you tell the patient? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Susan Moffatt-Bruce; Con: Chadrick Denlinger

STSA, November 2013: Ethics Forum: Is it ethically permissible for a medical center to deny employment to a physician on grounds that he smokes tobacco products? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: James Jones; Con: William Novick

AATS, May 2013: Ethics Forum: Is a surgeon who does not perform VATS lobectomy ethically obligated to inform early stage lung cancer patients of the VATS option and offer referral to a VATS surgeon? Facilitator: Thomas D’Amico; Pro: Scott Swanson; Con: Garrett Walsh

STS, January 2013: Ethics Forum: Patients declared dead for organ donation are not really dead—the dead donor rule should be abandoned. Facilitator: Robert Sade; Pro: Franklin Miller; Con: Alexander Capron

STSA, November 2012: Ethics Forum: Thoracic surgery societies should evaluate and rate the quality of international cardiothoracic surgery centers to help patients who wish to benefit from low-cost high-quality surgery. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Jeffrey Jacobs; Con: Constantine Mavroudis

AATS, April 2012: Ethics Forum: Are surgeons ethically obligated to treat Medicare patients despite substantial reductions in reimbursement? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Edward Verrier; Con: Tea Acuff

STS, January 2012: Ethics Forum: Sleep deprived surgeons should not be allowed to operate without patient's consent. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: George Czeisler; Con: Carlos Pellegrini

STSA, November 2011: Ethics Forum: Prisoners on death row should be accepted as organ donors. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Shu Lin; Con: Jay Pal

AATS, May 2011. Ethics Forum: Use of transcatheter aortic valve implantation should be rationed. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: John Mayer; Con: Grayson Wheatley

STS, January 2011. Ethics Forum: Blood transfusion may be given for imminent exsanguination of a Jehovah’s Witness patient. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Keith Naunheim; Con: Charles Bridges

STSA, November 6, 2010. Ethics Forum: Must surgeons tell mitral valve repair candidates about a new percutaneous repair device that is only available elsewhere? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Eric Skipper; Con: Kevin Accola

STS, January 2010. Ethics Forum: Financial links between industry and physician consultants should be severed. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Stephen Immelt; Con: Vincent Gaudiani.

STSA, November 2009. Ethics Forum: Impending loss of insurance coverage is an indication to proceed with complex, expensive surgery. Moderator: Robert Sade Pro: Tony Estrera; Con: John Ikonomidis

STS, January 2009. Ethics Forum: Saving lives is more important than abstract moral concerns: financial incentives should be used to increase organ donation. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Benjamin Hippen; Con: Lainie Ross.

STSA,'s November 2008. Ethics Forum: Ethical obligation of surgeons to non-compliant patients: Can a surgeon refuse to operate on an intravenous drug-abusing patient with recurrent aortic prosthesis infection? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Michael DiMaio; Con: Tomas Salerno

AATS, May 2008. Live surgery at national and regional cardiothoracic meetings should be outlawed. Moderator: Craig Miller; Pro: Duke Cameron; Con: Hugo Vanermen

STS, January 2008. Ethics Forum: No heroic measures—how soon is too soon to stop? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Thomas D’Amico; Con: Mark Krasna.

STSA, November 2007. Ethics Forum: Cardiothoracic surgical outcomes should be published in the lay press. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Jeffrey Jacobs; Con: Robert Cerfolio

STSA, November 2007. Ethics Forum: A clash of rights: should smoking tobacco products in public places be legally banned? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Carolyn Dresler; Con: Mark Cherry

STS, January 2007. Ethics Forum: Professionalism meets commerce: tighter regulation of conflicts of interest in surgeon-industry relations is needed. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Jerome Kassirer; Con: Thomas Stossel.

STSA, November 2006. Ethics Forum: Politely refuse the pen and note pad: gifts from industry to physicians harm patients. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Kenneth Iserson; Con: Robert Cerfolio

AATS, April 2006. Developing the Academic Surgeon Symposium: Dealing with conflict of interest in academics. Andrew Wechsler

STS, January 2006. Medical Legal Symposium: As a practicing surgeon, when should I quit?  Robert Sade

STS, January 2006. Medical Legal Symposium: As surgeons, are we ethically obligated to serve as the plaintiff’s expert witness, or do we have a free choice? Robert Sade

STS, January 2006. Ethics Forum: Our health care system at the crossroads: single payer or market reform? Moderator: Robert Sade; Single payer: David Himmelstein; Market reform: John Goodman.

STS, January 2006. The ethics of conflicts of interest. Richard Sanderson

STSA, November 2005. Ethics Forum: surgical innovation is too dangerous to remain unregulated. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Haavi Morreim; Con: Mike Mack

AATS, April 2005. Controversies in cardiothoracic surgery: therapeutic cloning should be supported to provide stem cells for CT research and treatment. Pro: Paul Berg; Con: Eric Cohen.

STS, January 2005. Ethics Forum: Medical ethics collide with public policy: LVAD for a patient with leukemia. Moderator: Robert Sade; Speakers: Gov. Richard Lamm; Patrick McCarthy.

STSA, November 2004. Ethics Forum: Surgical errors should always be disclosed to the patient. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Gus Mavroudis; Con: Keith Naunheim.

AATS, April 2004. Controversies in Cardiothoracic Surgery: "The legal profession is the guardian of medical standards.” Moderator: Joseph Bongiovi; Pro: John Romano; Con: Michael Royce

STS, January 2004. Patient safety as an ethical issue. Charles Bosk.

STSA, November 2003. Ethics Forum: Are thoracic surgeons ethically obligated to serve as expert witnesses for the plaintiff? Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Donald Watson; Con: Francis Robicscek

WTSA, June 2003. Medicare and Lung Volume Reduction Surgery. Joel Cooper.

AATS, May 2003. Developing the Academic Surgeon Symposium: "Do no harm? Is it immoral to utilize living persons as sources of organs and tissues for transplantation?" Arthur Caplan
    Panel Discussion: Ethical dilemmas in cardiothoracic surgery. Moderator: Ralph Damiano; Panel: Arthur Caplan, Bruce Lytle, Martin McKneally, Richard Weisel.

AATS, May 2003. Controversies in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Attending cardiothoracic surgeons should also be subject to work-hour regulations. Moderator: Craig Miller; Pro: David Dinges; Con: Irving Kron

STS, January 2003. Ethics Forum: Surgeons are ethically obligated to refer patients to other surgeons who achieve better results. Moderator: Robert Sade; Nicholas Kouchoukos; Con: Lawrence Cohn

STSA, November 2002. Ethics Forum: Reduced work hours: Surgeons should spend more time with family, community, and life outside the hospital. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Ross Ungerleider; con: Joe Coselli, 

WTSA, June 2002. Controversies in Thoracic Surgery. Lung volume reduction surgery and the NETT: A good concept gone awry? Moderator: John Benfield; Pro: Douglas Wood; Con: Richard Whyte

AATS, May 2002. Controversies in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Peer review is the best way to ensure quality patient care; Public reporting of surgical results is unnecessary (and misleading). Moderator: James Cox; Pro: William Nugent; Con: Mark Chassin

STS, January 2002. Educational Forum Honorary Lecture. “Ethical issues in surgery”.
    Robert Sade

STSA, November 2001. Ethics Forum: Cardiothoracic surgeons should make decisions to operate solely on medical grounds: It is wrong to consider insurance coverage, practice mortality data, and cardiologist pressures. Moderator: Robert Sade; Pro: Randolph Chitwood; Con: Ronald Elkins

WTSA, June 2001. C. Walton Lillehei Point-Counterpoint: The influence of industry on the practice of cardiothoracic surgery: Appropriate or inappropriate? Moderator: Richard Sanderson; Pro: Robert Sade; Con: Thomas Fogarty

AATS, May 2001. Controversies in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Is it ethical to advertise surgical results to increase referrals? Moderator: Tirone David; Pro: Delos Cosgrove; Con: Craig Miller

STS, January 2001. Post-Graduate Course Ethics Lecture. Ethical issues in introducing new technology. Martin McKneally

STSA, November 1999. Post-Graduate Course Lecture. Why surgeons don’t talk about ethics. Robert Sade