Feature

Surgeons rebel

The week's news at a glance.

London

British cardiologists said this week that they would fight a plan to publish the patient mortality rates of individual heart surgeons. Hospitals, citing the recently passed Freedom of Information Act, say they will soon start disclosing how many patients each surgeon has lost. But the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons said patient mortality rates could be misleading, because the best surgeons frequently take on the most challenging operations. The group warned that surgeons could soon start shying away from difficult cases. “The last thing we want to happen,” said Bruce Keogh, president-elect of the surgeons group, “is for surgeons to turn down certain operations to preserve their record.”

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