Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (2):101-105 (2019)

Abstract
Medical errors are all too common. Ever since a report issued by the Institute of Medicine raised awareness of this unfortunate reality, an emerging theme has gained prominence in the literature on medical error. Fears of blame and punishment, it is often claimed, allow errors to remain undisclosed. Accordingly, modern healthcare must shift away from blame towards a culture of safety in order to effectively reduce the occurrence of error. Against this shift, I argue that it would serve the medical community well to retain notions of individual responsibility and blame in healthcare settings. In particular, expressions of moral emotions—such as guilt, regret and remorse—appear to play an important role in the process of disclosing harmful errors to patients and families. While such self-blaming responses can have negative psychological effects on the individual practitioner, those who take the blame are in the best position to offer apologies and show that mistakes are being taken seriously, thereby allowing harmed patients and families to move forward in the wake of medical error.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2017-104687
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,060
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 50:115-151.
On Being Responsible and Holding Responsible.Angela M. Smith - 2007 - The Journal of Ethics 11 (4):465-484.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):680-681.
Emotions: An Essay In Aid of Moral Psychology.Monique F. Jonas - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):551-553.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

There Is No Techno-Responsibility Gap.Daniel W. Tigard - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-19.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Medical Error and Moral Luck.Dieneke Hubbeling - 2016 - HEC Forum 28 (3):229-243.
Are Patients Morally Responsible for Their Errors?S. Buetow - 2006 - Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (5):260-262.
Objective and Subjective Blame After War.Shannon Fyfe & Amy McKiernan - 2017 - Essays in Philosophy 18 (2):295-315.
The Emotion Account of Blame.Leonhard Menges - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):257-273.
How Not to Defend Moral Blame.Andreas Leonhard Menges - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-7.
Responsibility for Health and Blaming Victims.Mike W. Martin - 2001 - Journal of Medical Humanities 22 (2):95-114.
Salience, Imagination, and Moral Luck.Nathan Stout - 2017 - Philosophical Papers 46 (2):297-313.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-01-25

Total views
24 ( #430,407 of 2,403,825 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #155,988 of 2,403,825 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes