Chapter 5 Reading – Organ Transplant Article

September 23, 2009

What a sad, terrible story for all involved, but especially for the parents, who have lost their daughter. It is sad that it takes something like this to get people to rethink their policies and procedures and make sure that all bases are covered. Given what is on the line in these transplant situations—someone’s life—you would think hospitals and transplant groups would be constantly reviewing and revising their procedures and protocols to make sure these things do not get missed, but it seems like that only happens when something like this occurs. And, as the one doctor who insists nothing has ever gone wrong at his hospital demonstrates, sometimes even that is not enough to convince people to examine what they are doing and make sure nothing is being missed.

That being said, one thing that is not really discussed in this article is that in situations like this, where you have human beings making decisions and taking action with minimal time for review, mistakes are going to happen. People make mistakes. That is true regardless of whether you talk about doctors, hospitals, bus drivers, mechanics, or whatever. You cannot eliminate all human error, especially in situations like these. All you can do is try to minimize it as best you can and apologize when things go wrong.  That is something no one wants to hear, especially in cases where you are talking about someone losing their life because of a mistake like this one, but that does not make the fact that mistakes can and will happen any less true.


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