Ethics and meningiomas: From prudence to obstinacy? The position of the neurosurgeon (for treatment or insurance purposes) in the case of complaints concerning post-operative clinical deterioration

Neurochirurgie. 2018 Mar;64(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2014.08.004. Epub 2015 Jan 16.


To treat or not to treat an asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic benign meningioma, that is the question. And if treatment is necessary, what is the best technique: radical resection, sub-total resection or radiotherapy? This question is also pertinent for meningiomas of the skull base, posterior part of the sagittal sinus, anterior part of the foramen magnum and cerebellopontine angle. When the results of the treatment are good, the patient and the surgeon are satisfied. But when a new neurological deficit appears after the treatment, the patient is entitled to obtain compensation. What should be the position of the specialist medical assessor in this situation when the prognosis of these benign tumors is unknown? Is the preoperative information that is due to the patient complete, objective and sufficient? Is the therapeutic indication unquestionable? Is the technique irreproachable? For meningiomas, there is no "evidence-based medicine"; the therapeutic option is often based on the personal experience and/or the education of the surgeon and thus is, in fact, highly subjective.

Keywords: Claim for compensation; Complications; Indications thérapeutiques; Intracranial meningiomas; Méningiomes intracrâniens; Plainte pour indemnisation; Therapeutic indications.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Deterioration
  • Ethics, Clinical
  • France
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / ethics*
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Liability, Legal
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / complications
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Meningioma / complications
  • Meningioma / surgery
  • Meningioma / therapy*
  • Neurosurgeons / ethics*
  • Neurosurgeons / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Neurosurgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Neurosurgical Procedures* / ethics
  • Postoperative Complications