Patient Safety Ethics: How Vigilance, Mindfulness, Compliance, and Humility Can Make Healthcare Safer

Patient Safety Ethics: How Vigilance, Mindfulness, Compliance, and Humility Can Make Healthcare Safer

by John D. Banja


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Human errors occur all too frequently in medical practice settings. One sobering recent report claimed that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Hoping to reverse this disturbing trend but wondering why it is that things usually go well despite errors, John D. Banja's Patient Safety Ethics lays out a model that advocates vigilance, mindfulness, compliance, and humility as core ethical principles of patient safety.

Arguing that the safe provision of healthcare is one of the most fundamental moral obligations of clinicians, Banja surveys the research literature on harm-causing medical errors to explore the ethical foundations of patient safety and to reduce the severity and frequency of medical error. Drawing on contemporary scholarship on quality improvement, risk management, and medical decision making, Banja also relies on a novel source of information to illustrate patient safety ethics: medical malpractice suits.

Providing professional perspective with insights from prominent patient safety experts, Patient Safety Ethics identifies hazard pitfalls and suggests concrete ways for clinicians and regulators to improve patient safety through an ethically cultivated program of "hazard awareness."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421429083
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John D. Banja is a professor at the Center for Ethics at Emory University. He is the author of Medical Errors and Medical Narcissism.

Table of Contents

Part I. Patient Safety and Ethical Theory: The Significance of Vigilance, Mindfulness, Compliance, and Humility
Chapter 1. Ethical Foundations of Patient Safety
Chapter 2. Vigilance
Interview with Richard Cook
Chapter 3. Mindfulness
Interview with Pat Croskerry
Chapter 4. Compliance
Chapter 5. Humility
Interview with June Price Tangney
Part II. Some Theoretical Musings on Harm and Risk, Medical Error, and Medical Malpractice Litigation as an Ethical Exercise
Chapter 6. Some Theoretical Aspects of Vigilance and Risk Acceptability
Chapter 7. Fifty Shades of Error
Interview with Fran Charney
Chapter 8. The Standard of Care and Medical Malpractice Law as Ethical Achievement
Interview with Tommy Malone
Chapter 9. The Present and the Future
Interview with Bob Wachter

What People are Saying About This

Joseph J. Fins

"This is a wise and original volume that will inspire practitioners and institutions to embrace their professionalism and resist countervailing forces that can degrade care. A must-read for twenty-first-century medicine."

Geri Amori

"While ethics in healthcare most frequently focuses on patient rights, Dr. Banja examines the delivery side of that equation. Using safe care as an ethical imperative for the system, he proposes ethical constructs by which to measure our efforts. Patient Safety Ethics is provocative, intriguing, and ultimately humbling."

Mark L. Graber

"In this first-ever consideration of what makes patient safety unique, John Banja sets out a new framework for our consideration, enriched by considering medical malpractice cases. This is welcome food for thought, and interviews with thought-leaders in the patient safety domain are the icing on the cake."

Doug Wojcieszak

"John Banja has been an important thought leader in the disclosure and apology movement, and now with this book he is helping us frame and improve our thinking on patient safety."

Barbara J. Youngberg

"Once again John Banja forces us to look at the role and responsibilities of caregivers to reassess their engagement in ensuring a culture of safety for patients. A thoughtful and important read to further elevate discussions about safety and accountability in healthcare."

Nancy Berlinger

"Banja's work on the ethics of safety offers a much-needed practical account of where duties concerning safety sit in relation to duties to patients, colleagues, and communities."

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