‘Elective’ doesn’t mean ‘unnecessary’

Nice to have something minor to write about. Since two recent letters have used the term “elective surgery” incorrectly, I’d like to clear it up. “Elective surgery” doesn’t mean “optional” or “unnecessary.” It means non-emergency. Like scheduling your hernia repair for next week. Or even your coronary artery bypass. That’s what elective is. If you have a strangulated hernia, or an acute heart attack, and are rushed to surgery, that’s not “elective.” This is, of course, the opposite of a big deal. But I thought some people might appreciate knowing the definition, in case they’re considering joining the recent discussion.

Sid Schwab, MD

Mukilteo

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Dec. 17

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Viewpoints: Moving from grief to good 5 years after shooting

The determination of Sandy Hook families to turn unfathomable tragedy into good must be honored.

Commentary: Region has to consider options for U.S. 2 trestle

Waiting for lawmakers to pass another gas tax isn’t an option. We have to move forward now.

Commentary: Tighter rein needed on opioid makers, distrbutors

Doctors are working to better control prescriptions, but that won’t be enough to stem the epidemic.

Parker: When ‘credibly accused’ replaces due process

Giving more weight to accusations may feel justified at some level, but this should give us pause.

Robinson: Trump was right — Alabama did the right thing

‘The people of Alabama will do the right thing,’ tweeted Trump. Sadly for him, they did just that.

Petri: Ending net neutrality means innovation of bad options

With net neutrality’s end, consumers can choose to get worse service unless they pay more. Hooray!

Will: Whirlpool has Washington in a protectionist spin cycle

The appliance maker wants a U.S. trade panel to impose a 50 percent tariff on imported machines.

Most Read