The use of bovine pericardial patches in vascular surgery: where do we draw the line in obtaining informed consent?

The use of bovine pericardial patches in vascular surgery: where do we draw the line in obtaining informed consent?
Stacie Hodge, Nicholas Greaves, David Murray
Annals of Vascular Surgery, 24 April 2021
Abstract
With advances in modern medicine there has been unprecedented growth in biological materials derived from either porcine or bovine products. Absolute or relative restrictions of the dietary consumption of bovine or porcine products among different religious groups are relatively well documented. However, there are no clear guidelines about the non-dietary use of animal products for patients with particular secular or religious beliefs. For a patient undergoing a carotid endarterectomy, induction with propofol, administration of heparin at the time of vessel clamping, use of a bovine pericardial patch for angioplasty, covering the wound with a hydrocolloid dressing and post-operative aspirin administration exposes the patient to animal products at every stage, from the moment they walk through the door. A number of articles have advocated obtaining informed consent when using animal products in healthcare but where should the line be drawn? In particular, should we consent for the use of bovine pericardium in vascular surgery? This paper reviews the evidence available and discusses our current standpoint from both a legal and ethical aspect.

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