Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Navigating our way through a hospital ransomware attack: ethical considerations in delivering acute orthopaedic care


Ransomware attacks on healthcare systems are becoming more prevalent globally. In May 2021, Waikato District Health Board in New Zealand was devastated by a major attack that crippled its information technology system. The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery faced a number of challenges to the way they delivered care including, patient assessment and investigations, the deferral of elective surgery, and communication and patient confidentiality. These issues are explored through the lens of the four key principles of medical ethics in the hope that they will provide some guidance to future departments who may experience such attacks.

  • information technology
  • ethics- medical

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. Not applicable.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Other content recommended for you