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dc.contributor.authorDekker, Sidney WA
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-03T11:19:04Z
dc.date.available2017-05-03T11:19:04Z
dc.date.issued2007
dc.date.modified2011-05-30T06:58:02Z
dc.identifier.issn1445-1433
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1445-2197.2007.04253.x
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10072/38892
dc.description.abstractAs stakeholders struggle to reconcile calls for accountability and pressures for increased patient safety, criminal prosecution of surgeons and other health-care workers for medical error seems to be on the rise. This paper examines whether legal systems can meaningfully draw a line between acceptable performance and negligence. By questioning essentialist assumptions behind 'crime' or 'negligence', this paper suggests that multiple overlapping and partially contradictory descriptions of the same act are always possible, and even necessary, to approximate the complexity of reality. Although none of these descriptions is inherently right or wrong, each description of the act (as negligence, or system failure, or pedagogical issue) has a fixed repertoire of responses and countermeasures appended to it, which enables certain courses of action while excluding others. Simply holding practitioners accountable (e.g. by putting them on trial) excludes any beneficial effects as it produces defensive posturing, obfuscation and excessive stress and leads to defensive medicine, silent reporting systems and interference with professional oversight. Calls for accountability are important, but accountability should be seen as bringing information about needed improvements to levels or groups that can do something about it, rather than deflecting resources into legal protection and limiting liability. We must avoid a future in which we have to turn increasingly to legal systems to wring accountability out of practitioners because legal systems themselves have increasingly created a climate in which telling each other accounts openly is less and less possible.
dc.description.peerreviewedYes
dc.description.publicationstatusYes
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
dc.publisher.placeAustralia
dc.relation.ispartofstudentpublicationN
dc.relation.ispartofpagefrom831
dc.relation.ispartofpageto837
dc.relation.ispartofissue10
dc.relation.ispartofjournalANZ Journal of Surgery
dc.relation.ispartofvolume77
dc.rights.retentionY
dc.subject.fieldofresearchHealth Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)
dc.subject.fieldofresearchClinical Sciences
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode111711
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode1103
dc.titleCriminalization of medical error: who draws the line?
dc.typeJournal article
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Articles
dc.type.codeC - Journal Articles
gro.date.issued2007
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorDekker, Sidney


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