Cybersurgery is a surgical technique that allows a surgeon, using a telecommunication conduit connected to a robotic instrument, to operate on a remote patient. As a medical doctor, the author discusses the place of cybersurgery in the U.S. health care system of the new millennium. The author first reviews the field of cybersurgery and how the automatic surgeon will make off-line remote surgery possible. Then, he examines the global economy in health care systems and the impact of cybersurgery on closure of community hospitals and displacing physicians. Consequently, he discusses the ability of these entities to protect themselves with trade barriers and antitrust laws. In the end, the author suggested trade barriers and antitrust laws protect competition and not competitors. Therefore, it is the economics of supply and demand and the satisfaction of cybersurgery that ultimately dictate closure of community hospitals and employment stability of physicians.
Thomas R. McLean, Cybersurgery: Innovation or a Means to Close Community Hospitals and Displace Physicians?, 20 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 495 (2002)