Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Genuine errors that kill

Good post on NHS Blog Doctor. Discusses how we should deal with errors that have catastrophic consequences when someone does something quite normal. In this case the example is loosing control because of sneezing when either driving a car or a surgeon operating. The trouble is if someone dies because of someone else's error, the general public expect someone to be punished. Where someone is negligent or reckless (i.e. driving or operating drunk) this is quite clear-cut. But punishing someone for sneezing does not seem right.

A news article on a similar theme was on BBC website 7 November 2006 nurse gives baby morphine overdose.

In this case the nurse gave morphine meant for another baby when she thought she was giving human albumin solution. She was an experienced nurse and there seems to be no explanation for why she made the error. However, she was sacked and has now been found guilty of misconduct.

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