In the Regional Hospital of Lugano, a Swiss doctor amputated an eighty-year-old patient’s healthy leg and left the one with serious circulation problems. The patient did not survive the operation and the doctor presented his resignation immediately after he noticed his mistake. This story opens a debate on the fact that the medical profession is subjected to inhuman timetables and constant stress, both of which are determining factors which contribute to mistakes. In many countries, doctors are on duty for 24 hours a day, one day a week. How they are expected to perform at their best after such an unnatural working schedule defies logic. In the USA, for example, there are 120,000 deaths per year due to medical error, but in this country the figures are presented openly. In Switzerland, the authorities have been criticised for covering up cases of medical error. Evidently, one does not expect a doctor to make a mistake but if human error is unavoidable, it would appear impossible to eradicate the danger. The problem is that if a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it can cost his side a goal…if a doctor makes a mistake, it can cost a life.
TIMOFEI BYELO PRAVDA.RU
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