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The narrative that begins the essay is a heartrending one and provides examples of mistakes that physicians can make. Yet, critics argue that the narratives prove David Hilfiker is incompetent. What is your initial viewpoint?
To error is human and any human being can be…
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Facing Our Mistakes by David Hilfiker Facing Our Mistakes by David Hilfiker The narrative that begins the essay is a heartrending one and provides examples of mistakes that physicians can make. Yet, critics argue that the narratives prove David Hilfiker is incompetent. What is your initial viewpoint?
To error is human and any human being can be fallible. David Hilfiker can’t be described as incompetent due to the mistakes he committed; on the contrary I think he is competent enough from the fact that he admits his mistakes.
2. Does the narrative (presenting his mistakes) work to create him as an authority on mistakes? or does it undermine his argument?
The narrative work does create David Hilfiker as an authority on mistakes since the mistakes that he narrates are numerous.
3. He argues that many physicians make mistakes. Does this ring true to your experience?
According to my experience I can categorically acknowledge that many physicians make mistakes that sometimes result to death, disability or a complication in patients. I can also specify an incident where a physician prescribed the wrong medication for me.
4. Why do doctors expect perfection? Why do patients?
Doctors expect perfection because the modern medicine is engulfed with technological wonders and near-miraculous drugs. Patients on the other hand expect perfection from their doctors since they are the only ones that can make decisions regarding a particular illness.
5. What does he argue is the biggest problem with "hiding mistakes"? (claim)
According to Doctor David Hilfiker hiding mistake will eventually make the physician to be cut off from healing, there is no forgiveness received, and the physician become thwarted hindering growth.
6. Why is this a problem? (grounds)
The ground as to why hiding mistakes is a problem is because the physicians will never get an opportunity to be forgiven and will live with the guilt of that mistake forever.
7. What are the different types of mistakes?
Different types of mistakes include;
I. Not knowing enough
II. Lack of technical skill
III. Simple carelessness
IV. Failure of judgement
8. One of the main problems he believes is the culture thriving in University hospitals. What is this culture? What repeatedly happens to give false impressions of fallibility?
When one makes a mistake in the university hospital it is whispered as if it were a sin. It is also a culture that when a conference is convened to give the way forward on how the mistake should have been handled, the mistake is never mentioned. What repeatedly happens to give false impression of fallibility is that only the technical aspects are considered for discussions in the conference.
9. What are the three actions that a physician can take to face the guilt?
The three actions that a physician can take to face guilt are through confession, restitution and absolution.
10. What are the problems with each?
The problem with confession is that there are so much technical details which make it difficult for a layperson to understand hence the nature of the mistake is hidden.
Restitution is difficult since in a physician’s work there are things that cannot be restored such as life.
The problem with absolution is the fact that physician don’t admit errors to their patients, hence they remain not forgiven.
References
Hilfiker, D. (1984). ‘Facing Our Mistakes’ New England Journal of Medicine, 310: 118–22 Read More
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