The Patient Who Continues to Smoke On-Treatment: An Ethical Dilemma

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 1-4, DOI:10.1177/0194599817752634, Forthcoming

Posted: 18 Jan 2018

See all articles by Ankita Patro

Ankita Patro

Baylor College of Medicine

Christi J. Guerrini

Baylor College of Medicine; University of Houston Law Center Intellectual Property and Information Law Institute

Andrew Huang

Baylor College of Medicine

Andrew Sikora

Baylor College of Medicine

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

A 62-year-old man with an extensive smoking history is diagnosed with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma. After consultation, he is scheduled for radical resection with free flap reconstruction. The patient continues to smoke and is strongly advised to quit. When he returns for follow-up prior to his scheduled operation, the patient reluctantly discloses to his care team that he has not quit smoking. The surgeon considers withholding the operation until the patient has been tobacco-free for 4 weeks, consistent with evidence showing a significant decrease in surgical complications. Would it be ethically defensible to do so?

Keywords: medical ethics

Suggested Citation

Patro, Ankita and Guerrini, Christi J. and Huang, Andrew and Sikora, Andrew, The Patient Who Continues to Smoke On-Treatment: An Ethical Dilemma (2018). Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 1-4, DOI:10.1177/0194599817752634, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3103301

Ankita Patro

Baylor College of Medicine ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Apt 510
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77057
United States

Christi J. Guerrini

Baylor College of Medicine ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Apt 510
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77057
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.bcm.edu/people/view/christi-guerrini-j-d/b1e79844-9aa9-11e4-907f-005056b104be

University of Houston Law Center Intellectual Property and Information Law Institute ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

Andrew Huang

Baylor College of Medicine ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Apt 510
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77057
United States

Andrew Sikora (Contact Author)

Baylor College of Medicine ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Apt 510
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77057
United States

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