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

By Nancy Berlinger

Scientific mistakes is a number one challenge of future health care within the usa. every year, extra sufferers die due to scientific error than are killed by means of motorized vehicle injuries, breast melanoma, or AIDS. whereas such a lot govt and regulatory efforts are directed towards lowering and fighting error, the activities that are supposed to keep on with the damage or dying of a sufferer are nonetheless hotly debated. in accordance with Nancy Berlinger, conversations on sufferer defense are lacking numerous very important parts: non secular voices, traditions, and versions. In After damage, Berlinger attracts on assets in theology, ethics, faith, and tradition to create a pragmatic and finished method of addressing the desires of sufferers, households, and clinicians laid low with clinical mistakes. She emphasizes the significance of acknowledging fallibility, telling the reality, confronting emotions of guilt and disgrace, and delivering simply repayment. After damage provides very important human dimensions to a subject that has profound results for sufferers and health and wellbeing care prone.

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

Example text

He is in the audience; she is onstage. From his perspective, the show, as a performance designed to instruct, and, by the fact that it never closes, to bear witness to the inevitability of mistakes, is a success. Chapter 7 will look more closely at M&M as a cultural ritual with deep, if often unacknowledged, roots in religious practices and expectations concerning appropriate responses to human error. In the present discussion of the stories that persons affected by mistakes create and tell, the way that a story is constructed and presented at M&M is of particular interest.

He initiates the procedure, which he has never performed on a human patient in an emergency situation (though he had practiced on a goat): ‘‘I threw some drapes over her body, leaving the neck exposed. It looked as thick as a tree. I felt for the bony prominence of the thyroid cartilage. But I couldn’t feel anything through the layers of fat. I was beset by uncertainty . . and I hated myself for it. Surgeons never dither, and I was dithering . . There was no time to wait. Four minutes without oxygen would lead to permanent brain damage, if not death.

We see everything, moment by moment, through her eyes; there are no dispassionate detours into systems theory, as in Gawande’s essay. And we read her own history, her secret history, of the incident as an untamed gloss on the terse text of her M&M presentation. It is a brilliant display of storytelling technique, the ‘‘cool sequence of clinical events’’ demanded by the narrative and professional conventions of M&M ceding to an italicized inner monologue, in which Ofri describes not only her own ‘‘impressions, images, emotions’’ over the harrowing night she tried and failed to save Raphael Herlan, but also much about Mr.

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