Medical error, medical injury, a mistake: regardless of the name, apologizing for such a mishap remains a difficult act for physicians, other health care workers, and hospital administrators.
Many reasons are given for such reluctance to apologize, including embarrassment and discomfort, loss of reputation, or the belief that such disclosure may actually bring more harm to the patient and family. Still, perhaps the biggest barriers are economic, particularly the fears that admitting to participating in a medical error will lead to higher insurance premiums and more malpractice lawsuits with higher compensation awards.
Mitka M. Disclosing Medical Errors Does Not Mean Greater Liability Costs, New Study Finds. JAMA. 2010;304(15):1656–1657. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1422
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