ROBOTIC SURGERY: THE SCI-FI FUTURE IS NOW
Professor John Lazarus, urological surgeon, Urology Department, University of Cape Town
Advances in robotics are pushing the limits of what surgeons can achieve. We will look at the history of surgical robotics, from its origins over fifty years ago, when the US Department of Defence began to explore the concept of robot-assisted trauma surgery as a means of decreasing battlefield casualties, to its key role in present day surgery. We will also explore what its science fiction-like future may hold.
Groote Schuur Hospital is the first state hospital in South Africa to have the da Vinci surgical robot. It will have a major role in managing prostate cancer. We will consider this landmark moment and its implications for patients and trainees. Via videos we will show how the robot works and what robotic surgery looks like.
Lastly we will consider the wider philosophical implications of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to humanity, given the fact that AI is starting to have a big real-world impact.
TEXTS: Marsh, H. 2014. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Gray, J. 2015. The Soul of the Marionette. Allen Lane.
Ishiguro, K. 2021. Klara and the Sun. Faber & Faber.
CINEMA: I, Robot. 2004. 20th Century Fox. The trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0f3JeDVeEo