SCMP Saturday, April 21, 2001

Dangerous habit should be outlawed

There is no need for doctors to use mobile phones while performing operations.
Before the invention of mobile phones, doctors relied on hospital phones and pagers. Yet now they consider mobiles indispensable. This is self-inflicted dependency.
Even in most restaurants and clubs, patrons are asked to switch off their phones out of consideration for the privacy of other people.
Surely a surgeon performing an operation should be expected to switch off a mobile out of consideration for a patient's safety. After all, drivers are not supposed to use mobiles while behind the wheel because this can cause accidents.
There are much higher risks involved in an operation if the surgeon's attention is diverted.
Using a mobile phone while performing surgery is not acceptable and should be outlawed.