Seminar paper - Book Report/Review Example

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This is an article written by Atul Gawande, who writes of the first-hand account of the mistakes that he made and his colleagues while attending to a patient. The article has five parts, each with the name encompassing the narrative and emotions of the short chapters. The first…
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“When Doctors Make Mistakes” by Atul Gawende (384-402) This is an article written by Atul Gawande, who writes of the first-hand account of the mistakes that he made and his colleagues while attending to a patient. The article has five parts, each with the name encompassing the narrative and emotions of the short chapters. The first chapter ‘Crash Victim’ provides overviews on the event of a crash victim, the second chapter ‘Banality of Error’ talks on the consequences of errors that doctors make during surgery, prescriptions, and consultation. The third chapter ‘Show and Tell’ provides a discussion of the M&M meetings whereby the attendants present mistakes made in the medical profession and telling on how to improve upon such mistakes without mentioning the names of the doctors, as a means of avoiding future mistakes. The fourth chapter ‘Nearly Perfect’ is where the author discusses on the improvements made by avoiding the simple error through improvements on the system through the engineering and industrial psychology. The fifth and last part ‘Getting It Right’ is where the author includes an example of his own experience at the time of surgery at the case where a major error was imminent, but was able to avoid it, all due to the improvements made through anesthesiology.
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After going through this article, I tend to find that the author was not trying to seek for an excuse for his profession, but was instead seeking for an understanding from the public, who seem to be bombarded through the media’s negative presentation on the doctor’s actions. According to the author’s perspective, the media engages in giving many details on the errors that are easy to make sometimes but yet almost unavoidable by the doctors, but the fact remains that doctors always strive at improving on these errors in trying to get it right (Gawande 39). On an individual capacity, this reading means that no people are immune to mistakes, and thus there is a need to excuse them in their occurrence, but upon their occurrence, such mistakes should not reoccur.
In this article, the author (Gawende) is trying to tell the reader that condemning doctors and subjecting them to lawsuits on errors performed in the medical profession do not help at preventing the reoccurrence of these mistakes. For example, Troyen Brennan, a Harvard professor of law and public health was quoted saying, “medical-malpractice suits are a remarkably ineffective remedy” (Gawande 390). Instead, the author considers it best if doctors engage in discussion on their mistakes, and thus devise on appropriate mechanisms of avoiding such mistakes again. More so, Gawende is not calling for a return to paternalism, but instead calling for a more nuanced practice that respects on autonomy. Judging on the character traits revealed in this essay, I believe that Gawende embodies the intellectual and the moral virtues of the entire medical profession.
Works Cited
Gawande, Atul. Complications: A Surgeons Notes on an Imperfect Science. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010. Print.
Gawande, Atul. Complications: Notes from the Life of a Young Surgeon. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2002. Print. Read More
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