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Deep Brain Stimulation & Functional Neurosurgery

Modern medical practice has evolved in ways that could not have been foreseen when the Oregon Medical Practice Act was written, in particular, the advancements in neurosurgical procedures over the past quarter century.

Oregon Revised Statute 677.190 includes “psychosurgery" among the list of conduct that is grounds for discipline. “Psychosurgery" is defined as “any operation designed to produce an irreversible lesion or destroy brain tissue for the primary purpose of altering the thoughts, emotions or behavior of a human being." However, the term “does not include procedures … undertaken to cure well-defined disease states such as brain tumor, epileptic foci and certain chronic pain syndromes." The Board recognizes that brain surgery for other purposes, including tremors and Parkinson's disease, is commonly acceptable.

Deep brain stimulation is an accepted and promising, evidence-based surgical treatment and is not grounds for discipline when performed by a qualified physician who meets the standard of care.

As with all medical care in the State of Oregon, the Board seeks to ensure that neurosurgical procedures are performed in a manner that protects Oregonians and provides them with access to quality care.

– Adopted October 2013
–  Amended July 6, 2023