After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness by Nancy Berlinger

By Nancy Berlinger

Scientific mistakes is a number one challenge of healthiness care within the usa. every year, extra sufferers die due to scientific blunders than are killed via motorized vehicle injuries, breast melanoma, or AIDS. whereas so much executive and regulatory efforts are directed towards decreasing and fighting blunders, the activities that are supposed to persist with the damage or dying of a sufferer are nonetheless hotly debated. in keeping with Nancy Berlinger, conversations on sufferer protection are lacking a number of very important elements: non secular voices, traditions, and types. In After damage, Berlinger attracts on resources in theology, ethics, faith, and tradition to create a pragmatic and complete method of addressing the desires of sufferers, households, and clinicians plagued by clinical blunders. She emphasizes the significance of acknowledging fallibility, telling the reality, confronting emotions of guilt and disgrace, and supplying simply repayment. After damage provides very important human dimensions to a topic that has profound effects for sufferers and future health care prone.

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After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness

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Additional resources for After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness

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They interact with patients and with patients’ families differently and may consequently perceive their responsibilities toward patients and families differently. Their respective M&Ms function differently. ∞≥ And at the end of the crisis that is narrated in two different idioms in each account—the real-time narration of the resident frantically trying to figure out what is going so badly wrong, and the authorized version of this story as transmitted to the congregation at M&M— Gawande has a living patient, and Ofri does not.

It’s in the X-ray report. ’’ . . Could I have missed that? . I had examined every single X-ray myself. But I hadn’t, I realized with rising nausea, read the written X-ray reports. Usually, the radiologists call immediately if they see an ‘‘emergency’’ problem. As the clinician, however, it was still my responsibility to read the X-ray reports in addition to examining the actual X-rays. It wasn’t the radiologist’s fault, it was mine. I killed Mr. Herlan. (Ofri 2003, 204) Ofri ends her M&M presentation by reading from the X-ray report and acknowledging that she had failed to read the report while treating the patient.

The author tells us ‘‘I was a wreck’’ after the incident, and that: ‘‘The best advice I was given was to write down as much as I could remember as soon as I could. Doing this made me realise how much was just a blur. ’’ The physician’s description of how a fatal error was ‘‘remembered’’ is instructive in and of itself. ’’ Yet this narrative suggests that some mistakes—those that are immediately apparent to the physician and that result in immediate harm to the patient—simply cannot be cognitively processed, and therefore cannot be described in a clear, linear way until some time has passed.

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