Patenting of Surgical Techniques: The Texas Medical Association condemns any attempt for any operation to patent surgical techniques, such as the shape or length of a surgical incision, as being detrimental to progress in the art and science of surgery and not in the interest of patients who might be denied the benefit of such techniques for economic reasons. Claimed benefits of new surgical techniques must be evaluated by other surgeons before acceptance by the medical community. Patenting of surgical techniques prevents effective evaluation. Also the traditional centerpoint of medical ethics has been to relieve suffering and heal the sick. The patenting of surgical techniques would slow down the dissemination of new scientific advancements. TMA, concurring with the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Opinion on New Medical Procedures which states that the intentional withholding of new medical knowledge, skills, and techniques from colleagues for reasons of personal gain is detrimental to the medical profession and to society and is to be condemned, favors modification of the patent law to prevent proliferation of such patenting practices (Res. 28T, p 178, A-94, and Board of Councilors, p 45, I-94; reaffirmed BOC Rep. 3-A-04; reaffirmed BOC Rep. 6-A-14).
Last Updated On
October 07, 2016