Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just imagine ...

I found the analogy that Atul Gawande uses in this illustration of the consequences of errors made in medicine with errors made in the game of baseball to be intriguing and may worth reflecting. Here how it goes:

"Imagine, though, that if every time Mike Lowell threw and missed, the error cost or damaged the life of someone you cared about. One error leaves an old man with a tracheostomy; another puts a young woman in a wheelchair; another leaves a child brain-damaged for the rest of her days. ... Someone would want to rush to the field howling for Lowell's blood. Others would see all the saves he's made and forgive him his failures. Nobody, though, would see him in quite the same light again. And nobody would be happy to have the game go on as if nothing had happened. We'd want him to show sorrow, to take responsibility. We'd want the people he injured to be helped in a meaningful way." From Better by Atul Gawande.

I want to add a few sentences to this story. Yet, in the end, nothing happens. The world goes on as if none of these happened. The bottom line is, sometimes, we don't use these failures to be better.

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