Have We Made Progress in Identifying (Surgical) Innovation?

Giles Birchley*, Richard Huxtable, Jonathan Ives, Jane Blazeby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Jake Earl correctly identifies a range of ethical problems arising from medical innovation. The definition of innovation itself is, however, deeply problematic, contested, and contestable, and this is something we have grappled with in our own work on surgical innovation. This commentary explores what progress has been made in defining surgical innovation, considers the challenges that remain and how those challenges impact on Earl’s conclusions. It ends by considering a radical - though we think justifiable - departure from contemporary thinking by proposing the elimination of the term ‘innovation’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-27
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
Issue number6
Early online date28 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


  • surgical innovation
  • Ethics, Research
  • Governance of innovation diffusion

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