Ethical considerations in the use of biopolymer sutures

Patrick S. Phelan, M. Laurin Council

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Biopolymer suture materials, namely gut and silk, represent under-recognized sources of potential ethical conflict in the informed consent of surgical patients. Objections to acceptance of such products may be made on both religious and secular grounds, and should not be discounted by assumption. Consistent with contemporary medical ethics, informed consent thus ought to include disclosure of use and source of these animal-derived products, as is the case with dressings and prostheses. Potential substitutes may be found in synthetic suture materials suitable for both absorbable and permanent placement, providing practical options to the conscientious physician.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-351
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Dermatological Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 19 2019


  • Gut suture
  • informed consent
  • silk suture


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