Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2005
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Medical error is a leading problem of health care in the United States. Each year, more patients die as a result of medical mistakes than are killed by motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. While most government and regulatory efforts are directed toward reducing and preventing errors, the actions that should follow the injury or death of a patient are still hotly debated. According to Nancy Berlinger, conversations on patient safety are missing several important components: religious voices, traditions, and models.
In After Harm, Berlinger draws on sources in theology, ethics, religion, and culture to create a practical and comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of patients, families, and clinicians affected by medical error. She emphasizes the importance of acknowledging fallibility, telling the truth, confronting feelings of guilt and shame, and providing just compensation. After Harm adds important human dimensions to an issue that has profound consequences for patients and health care providers.
“Forgiveness on the part of an injured patient, or the family if the patient has died, comes as a result of both words and actions on the part of doctors and hospitals, says Nancy Berlinger in her thoughtful and well-researched book.” – Gregory M. Lamb, Christian Science Monitor
“Dr. Berlinger’s thoughtful and graceful work offers reflection on aspects of heath care, ethics and faith in ways both necessary and new. Her work provides a critique of bioethics and a challenge for the sort of conversations we need to move forward.” – Laurie Zoloth, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
“Provides a valuable counterbalance to innumerable calls for systemic reforms to reduce medical error.” – Farr A. Curlin, British Medical Journal
“Certainly recommended reading.” – Mark Welch, Metapsychology
“This is an important book that deserves to be read widely. Berlinger has done a signal service by writing it.” – Stephen E. Lammers, Christian Century
“After Harm has much to offer students, educators, administrators, and policy makers.” – Gregg VandeKieft, Literature and Medicine