The FDA has launched a probe into the safety of the da Vinci surgical robot following a number of reports involving severe complications, internal injuries and patient deaths associated with the machine. Adverse event reports submitted by doctors and patients have repeatedly claimed that the surgical robot accidentally caused burns, tears or other injury to internal organs, and a growing number of product liability lawsuits over the da Vinci surgical robot allege that the device is defective and that the electrical current used to cut and cauterize tissue is prone to arc outside of the surgical field. Max Kennerly has a good comment on the issues raised by the use of robotic surgical machines here. He concludes, among other things, that "robotic hysterectomies are not worth the extra cost, and they are likely more risky than laparoscopic surgeries done without them." For more on this story go here.