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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims

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Errors, Medicine and the Law

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Alan MerryUniversity of Auckland, Alistair McCall-Smith, Alexander McCall SmithUniversity of Edinburgh

ISBN13: 9780521806312
ISBN: 0521806313
Published: August 2001
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: Price on Application
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780521000888



Untoward injuries are unacceptably common in medical treatment, at times with tragic consequences for patients. The phrases 'an epidemic of error' and 'the medical toll' have been coined to describe this problem of 'iatrogenic harm', which it has been suggested may have contributed to 98,000 deaths per year in the US. Some of these incidents are the result of negligence on the part of doctors, but more usually they are no more than inevitable concomitants of the complexity of modern healthcare. This book is fundamentally about distinguishing the former from the latter. Although medicine is used as the book's primary example, the points made apply equally to aviation, industrial activities, and many other fields of human endeavour. The book advocates a more informed alternative to the blaming culture which has increasingly come to dominate our response to accidents, whether in the medical field or elsewhere.

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Contents:
Introduction; 1. Accidents; 2. The human factor; 3. Errors; 4. Violations; 5. Negligence, recklessness and blame; 6. The standard of care; 7. Assessing the standard - the role of the expert witness; 8. Beyond blame: responding to the needs of the injured; 9. Conclusion.