The trauma of medical errors


Human error. The phrase sounds almost clinical. The author of a new book suggests tens of thousands of patients in Canadian hospitals and clinics die every year as a result of someone's bungling. Today, the unsettling stories of routine surgeries gone terribly wrong, and why we all need to be stronger advocates for the people we care about when they fall ill.

Related Website Links

  • Julia Hallisy, founder of The Empowered Patient wrote the "Afterword" for Susan McIver's book "After The Error" - the website provides excellent information and resources.

After the Error author, Susan McIver

Rarely does a month go by that some odd medical error isn't made and a patient -- or many patients -- suffer. But the number of people who die as a result of medical error is disturbing. It's estimated to be in the tens of thousands each year.

Among the most notorious cases is the death of 10-year-old Lisa Shore at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 1998. We aired a clip with Sharon Shore, the mother of Lisa Shore, who sought justice for her daughter through a coroner's inquest and a court case. We also heard some of the conflicting perspectives about what happened and who was to blame.

The Shore case is one of many discussed and documented in a new book After the Error: Speaking out about patient safety to save lives. Susan McIver and Robin Wyndham are co-authors of the book. Susan McIver joined us in our Toronto studio.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry.

To add your thoughts to anything you hear on the show, tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or on Facebook. Or email us from our website. And if you missed the conversation on yesterday's edition of The Current, you can hear it on our podcast.

Last Word - Rita MacNeil dies at 68

As you've been hearing in the news, Canadian singer-songwriter Rita MacNeil has died. Sometimes called the "Cape Breton's First Lady of Song," Rita MacNeil was a folk hero, performing barefoot on stages across the country. She also won dozens of awards, and hosted a CBC Television show called Rita and Friends.

Here now is one of the many songs that made her famous around the world - Working Man, performed with The Men of the Deeps, a choir of working and retired coal miners from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. They get today's Last Word. 

* This music is not licensed for streamed audio and is not available in the online audio.*

Other segments from today's show:

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Recovering hope of Tahrir Square: Mohamed Aboulghar

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