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Medical Errors Report Hits Like 'Nuclear Explosion'

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Ray Woosley, MD, head of the pharmacology department at Georgetown University Hospital, says that a possible limited liability model already exists with vaccines. "There is a foundation set up, and if you are harmed by a vaccine, you are immediately compensated," Woosley tells WebMD. Woosley is a member of the WebMD board of medical advisors.

It's somewhat surprising that the medical error report from the IOM, an independent group advising the government on controversial issues, has been greeted with such fanfare, particularly since there have been similar alarms sounded before. Perhaps some of the response results from the strong, nonacademic language used to convey the problem.

"We did the world of medical care a great service by pointing out that we can change the culture in which we perform services by being much more analytical as to how to be safe," says Bristow. "The Hippocratic Oath says, 'First, do no harm.' That we should be able to do."

 

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