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We should start to quantify the environmental impact of different treatments

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 06 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1997
  1. Luke Harper, consultant paediatric surgeon, Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Saint-Denis de La Réunion, Reunion Island, France
  1. harper_luke{at}

It’s only a matter of time before the public asks for greener medical care, says Luke Harper

As treatments have evolved, several therapeutic options have become available for most pathologies. Because of the need to choose between these different options, we have developed tools to evaluate them according to their efficacy, adverse effects, and cost. These essential criteria are used not only when deciding on a treatment for an individual patient but also when planning healthcare programmes.

Concurrently, public concern about environmental matters has grown—for example, the use of alternative sources of energy and the production of toxic substances. Public and private sector policies are gradually reflecting this.1 …

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