Sudden cardiac death: mandatory exclusion of athletes at risk is a step too far
- 1Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
- 2Unisports Centre for Sports Medicine, Auckland, New Zealand
- Correspondence to Lynley Anderson, Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand;
- Received 25 May 2011
- Accepted 22 September 2011
- Published Online First 28 October 2011
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young athletes is a distressing event and it is not surprising that some physicians working with sports people are proposing that preventive action should be taken. There is a push for a system similar to that established in some countries, which involves screening and mandatory exclusion of those at risk. We argue that while screening can provide useful information to at-risk athletes making decisions about their future athletic careers, mandatory exclusion of athletes is paternalistic and such decisions are not rightfully within the domain of medicine.
Funding A small grant of around £500 was obtained from the University of Otago for a research assistant.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned, externally peer reviewed.