During his long career at Boston Children’s Hospital pediatric ICU, Dr. Bob Truog saw many joyful outcomes—and many sad ones. And in his role as Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesia & Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, he has devoted years to codifying the ethical principles that underlie good medicine. Truog also serves as executive director of the hospital’s Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, where he oversees courses in difficult medical communications such as dealing openly and honestly with patients after a medical error. Patient Safety Beat spoke to Truog about the challenges of the “apology and resolution” approach, and the ethical dilemmas it often raises.
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