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Merry and McCall Smith's Errors, Medicine and the Law


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Table of Contents

Foreword; Acknowledgement; Introduction; 1. Accidents; 2. The human factor; 3. Errors; 4. Violations; 5. Negligence, recklessness and blame; 6. The standard of care; 7. Assessing the standard - the role of the expert witness; 8. Beyond blame: responding to the needs of the injured; 9. The place of the criminal law in healthcare; 10. Rethinking accountability in healthcare; Conclusion; Index.

Promotional Information

Errors and violations harm many patients: this book explores how to improve both accountability and patient safety in healthcare.

About the Author

Alan Merry practices in anaesthesia and chronic pain management at Auckland City Hospital, and is Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Auckland, Chair of the Board of the New Zealand Health Quality and Safety Commission and a board member of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists and the Lifebox Foundation. His research and publications reflect interests in medical law, human factors, patient safety and global health. He is an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Warren Brookbanks is a legal academic, and former practising lawyer and probation officer, and is currently Professor of Law and Director for the Centre for Non-Adversarial Justice at the Auckland University of Technology Law School. He has written extensively in the areas of criminal law, psychiatry and the law, and therapeutic jurisprudence, and was previously President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL). His textbooks on criminal law and mental health law have been past winners of the J. F. Northey Memorial Book Prize.


'The authors propose a novel approach based upon the principles of a just culture and therapeutic jurisprudence, with a strong movement away from blame and toward transparency, learning, and accountability. In doing so, they have produced a well-argued, erudite, and readable treatise that stands in the very first rank. This is a book that is to be strongly recommended. It has something for everyone - practicing health care clinicians, lawyers, hospital managers, regulators, policy makers, and the public.' Jo Samanta and Ash Samanta, Journal of Legal Medicine

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