Examining the Ethics Implications of Guidelines for Enhanced Recovery After Cardiac Surgery: A Qualitative Study


Surgical procedures are crucial for maintaining the well-being and quality of life of more than 1.5 million individuals in Canada annually. However, surgery can impose unexpected challenges on both patients and the healthcare system due to the frequent occurrence of complications, which can result in substantial costs for both patients and the healthcare system. Therefore, it is crucial for patients and healthcare providers to optimize surgical care. There is a gap in the literature regarding ethics in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS_, and currently, there are no existing ethics frameworks to help guide healthcare practitioners in the implementation of ERAS protocols.

Our purpose is to have patients, physicians and nurses describe their experiences with cardiac care and the ERAS guidelines. We will use the four principles of medical ethics: beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice to guide our analysis. During the interviews, patients and healthcare providers will be asked about their experiences with the various elements of ERAS pathways.

Our research questions are:
(1) What are the experiences of ethics in care for patients who have undergone cardiac surgery and received care through ERAS protocols?
(2) What are the experiences of ethics in care for physicians and nurses who have delivered care to cardiac surgery patients guided by ERAS protocols?


Currently recruiting participants: Yes

Eligible gender: Male, Female, Transgender, Other

Eligible ages: 18 to 99

Accepts healthy participants: Yes

Inclusion criteria:

1. Adults (above 18 years old)
2. Patients who have had cardiac surgery in Calgary or healthcare providers who have cared for patients with cardiac surgery in Calgary
3. Speak English or French or have an available translator
4. Willing and able to provide consent

Exclusion criteria:

1. Child (under 18 years old)
2. Patients who have NOT had cardiac surgery in Alberta
3. Unable to speak English or French or have an available translator
4. Unable to provide consent


Fill out the following form if you want to participate in this research

Method of contact

Additional information

Contact information

Please contact study staff at reeana.tazreean@ucalgary.ca or 403-708-7308

Principal investigator:

Stacey A. Page, PhD, Chair

Clinical trial: